By Katie Zarrilli ’12
When Greg Thonsen ’10 decided to utilize Gordon’s Career Services Center, he came out with more than he expected. Thonsen, a finance major from East Williston, New York, made crucial connections and was able to learn more about his field. One connection resulted in an interview.
As students like Thonsen get into their routine of classes for the spring semester, they are also being encouraged to think about their lives after Gordon. With over 20 events planned during the next four months, Gordon’s Office of Career Services offers students the help they need in moving from college life into the professional world.
“We want to help students make a successful transition,” said Pam Lazarakis, director of career services. “With so many great resources available here, we’re hoping our students take full advantage of the services we offer so they don’t fall behind in their pursuits.”
Many workshops or events—which began January 21 and continue until late April—are either new or back by popular demand, including: “Networking for Introverts”; “Job and Internship Fair”; “The Etiquette Luncheon”; “The Senior Panic” and a first-time event called “Investing in Our Community: the Intersection of Nonprofits and For Profits.”
Lazarakis has directed the Career Services Office since 1998 and says many students across academic disciplines have achieved positive results by taking advantage of career services events.
“The Human Resources professionals, for example, give valuable advice and tips to enhance the student’s knowledge of the career world,” Lazarakis said. “It’s rare to have the opportunity to hear from so many qualified professionals who are working and succeeding in their fields. Their advice to students is always valuable.”
Typically 30-35 employers attend the “Job and Internship Fair”, scheduled this year for Thursday, February 25. The Fair provides students an opportunity to submit resumes and network with prospective employers. Last year, 104 students attended the event. Several local and national groups are expected to attend, including Adventure Bound, Bridgewell, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, L'-Arche Irenicon, Mystic Valley Regional Charter School, Salem Five Bank, Thompson Island Outward Bound, National Mission Board, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, The Boston Globe, and The Navigators.
“Investing in Our Community” is a new event unique to Gordon to be held Wednesday, March 24. It allows students and the public not only to hear different perspectives but also to meet professionals from both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. The event includes a panel discussion as well as a networking reception to explore ways that nonprofits and for profits can contribute to the community.
Lazarakis believes the success of any career-oriented event is based not necessarily on the number of people who attend but on the individual achievements and steps they take to better their futures. She hopes every student attains the same type of success as Thonsen.
“Regardless of their year in school, we hope all students will recognize the importance of professional development during their time at Gordon and take advantage of career services to help them explore their desired careers or callings,” she said. “But if one person attends an event, is engaged, asks good questions, and makes a good connection for the future, it’s worthwhile.”
At a Glance:
(All events held in the Career Services Office in Lane Student Center unless otherwise noted)
The Office of Career Services is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Tuesdays and Thursdays until 7 p.m. and available to all students. For more information, please visit www.gordon.edu/careerservices.