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Freshmen Learn How to Kick Start Careers with New Career Development Course
Freshmen at Bentley University are learning that it’s never too early to start thinking about a career. In fact, career development is an essential part of the undergraduate experience, says Susan Brennan, executive director of University Career Services, beginning freshmen year. The university recently launched a Career Development Introduction Seminar (CDI 101), an innovative seven-week program offered to all first-year and transfer students. The course is designed and taught by advisers in Undergraduate Career Services in partnership with business professionals from top companies. It will provide an overview of workplace readiness covering topics including:
- Personal and professional goal development
- Interactive lab sessions on resume and cover letter writing and interviewing skills
- Networking and utilizing social media
- Internship preparation and professionalism
A unique aspect of CD 101 is that the course connects students with Bentley’s corporate partners. Representatives from companies such as Fidelity, TJX and Liberty Mutual will take part in sessions giving students valuable exposure to potential employers, “It’s very unusual for freshmen to have this type of access to executives from the corporate world,” says Brennan. “They will receive feedback on resumes, elevator pitches, and interview skills from the very people they will need to impress when it comes time to look for internships and jobs.”
Students can choose to put their new skills into action right away as successful completion of the course is a prerequisite for a new one-credit internship course (CDI 102), also managed by Career Services. The internship allows students to explore possible fields of interest before applying for a more specialized academic internship during their junior or senior year. The new offerings complement Bentley’s already strong commitment to prepare students for a career, particularly in a tough economy and are part of the university’s customized HIRE Education four-year career development plan, which includes:
- Freshman Year
- Explore: Develop an understanding of skills, interests and abilities, and discover possible career paths through CDI 101
- Sophomore Year
- Experiment: Consider a major and experiment with career-related programs, activities and internships, whether for credit (CDI 102) or not-for-credit.
- Junior Year
- Experience: Apply classroom knowledge in the workplace. Revise and confirm career goals, enhance a resume, and take advantage of on-campus interviews and Bentley career fairs to find relevant internships and jobs.
- Senior year
- Excel: Leverage education, experiences and activities; build professional relationships; land full-time positions and successfully transition into the workplace.
“The Career Services staff works closely with students at every step,” says Brennan. “From the first internship to full-time employment, Bentley students will be prepared to succeed at work and in life.”
The Yawkey Foundations have recognized Bentley University’s longstanding commitment to service-learning and awarded the university $500,000 to educate students to effectively lead nonprofit organizations and expand student efforts to help community groups.