Thursday, July 16, 2015

Career Services: Friends for LIFE

In order to truly set the mood for this blog, I feel it appropriate to step back quite a few years. Back to the years when I was still deciding where to go to school, what to do with my career, who to be…the beginning of the future.

Before attending any school, it is smart and almost essential to tour the campus and see if you get “That Feeling.” You know, the rumored feeling that occurs within you when you step on to the right campus’s soil. Like you had returned home to a place you had never before laid eyes on. A feeling that I was convinced was created by Universities to get people to visit their gift shops. That is, until I visited CIA. But I’ve already told you all that story...I digress.

Each of these tours were pretty basic: on your left is this, if you look to your right you’ll find that, etc. And during the awkward walking lulls between buildings, the tour guides would always bring up extra material about the school’s special services. Things such as meal plans, financial aid and, of course, career services. This was the portion of the tour where, as sorry as I am to admit this, I usually tuned out to think of more “important” things like whether or not the sun would hit that tree when I was studying on the quad.
Nothing changed during my tour of CIA. When the tour guide started telling us about the loyalty and persistence of the career services office, I was wondering how long it would be until I was in Chocolates class creating the beautiful candies that were currently staring back at me from behind glass. It was not until I was enrolled at CIA looking forward to my future externship that I thought twice about Career Services.

In the midst of all the craziness that is starting at a new school, all the students were reminded that our required externship was coming up fast and that we had to be fully prepared when our time arrived. There was a lot to do of course before we could go: refresh resumes, write cover letters, attend a career fair, secure a job site, conduct an interview, find housing…the list went on and on. All of that on top of school work was enough to make my head spin and I didn’t know where to start. It was then that I turned to career services.

Within an hour meeting with my supervisor I had a renewed resume, an outlined cover letter, and most importantly, a plan to move forward. I was amazed at how quickly the people in career services were able to set me on the right track. Not only did they help me during my appointment, but they also encouraged me to keep an open relationship with them throughout my search for my externship. It wasn’t long before I attended a career fair and nailed down the perfect externship.

From that experience forward, I have always relied on career services. They were always extremely helpful with anything career related while I was attending The Culinary. BUT WHY AM I TELLING YOU ABOUT THIS NOW?? Why not while I was at CIA actually working with career services?? There is one thing I have not yet told you about Career Services. The counseling and resources offered at CIA’s career services are available FOR LIFE. This means that any member of the CIA Alumni family can contact career services whenever they are in need of assistance. Whether it be for advice on how to take the right first steps shortly after graduation or for information thirty years down the road on a job in a new area of the country, career services is always here to assist us. How many schools can boast that??

Even though I graduated just over a year ago, I have already found myself using the resources made available to me by career services. I have attended meetings to reboot my resume, used the online database for job openings, and plan to attend a career fair in the near future in order to stay relevant and further develop my career on the correct path. There are obviously many reasons that I loved being a student at The Culinary Institute of America. Now, even after graduation, the school that I called home for so long continues help shape my career and to give me further reason to love it.

For any CIA student or graduate looking to further their career, the first place I would suggest to look would of course be career services

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