“I know some students don’t have access to career resources or have someone that they can ask for help in their homes,” said Cindy Zheng, a SUNY Broome student. That’s why she — and many others — believes in the importance of the college providing valuable resources for students as they enter the workforce and for alumni who seek career advice or assistance with job hunting. Cindy adds, “I know that [the college’s career support] is tremendously helpful for students. With a career coach’s experiences and knowledge, they will steer us students in the right direction.”
SUNY Broome launched The Applied Learning and Career Center (ALCC), as it was called then, in the fall of 2016 to aid student and alumni job seekers. Originally, they offered resume creation and development, interview coaching, mock interviews and job search assistance.
The next spring, the ALCC welcomed the campus into its renovated space in Applied Technologies Building Room 101 and showed off their new computer and printer set-ups where job seekers could develop and print newly perfected resumes.
When the ALCC staff noticed students struggling to get the right professional attire for interviews, SUNY Broome Vice President of Student Development and Chief Diversity Carol Ross-Scott secured funding to address the need in Feb. 2019. The Career Closet provides free professional clothing, shoes and accessories to students for career fairs, job interviews and internships. “As a community college, it’s part of our mission to meet people at their need,” said SUNY Broome President Kevin E. Drumm at the time.
“Whether you already know what your dream career is or have no idea what shape the future will take, the Center for Career Development is for you,” said Vice President of Academic Affairs Penny Haynes during an interview about ALCC changing its name to the Center for Career Development last year.
Along with the name change came a broadened spectrum of services. In addition to meeting with a career coach to prepare for a career, students and alumni now had the option to meet with a career and transfer counselor to explore various career paths or plan for transfer to four-year colleges and universities. More recently, the Center has added more online appointments, virtual workshops and other offerings and started a weekly Job Opportunities Newsletter for alumni and student job seekers.
Another change to the Center is the addition of Valerie Carnegie, who has accepted the position of the Chair of Career and Transfer Services. “I have been helping students plan for transfer, but now I also have the opportunity to help them prepare for entering the workforce,” she reflected. “I’m glad that the college offers transfer and career assistance so they can be successful on either path.”
Student Cindy Zheng is also grateful for the Center’s flexibility. Not only did they help her with job searching and planning for interviews, but they also answered her questions about applying for transfer to a university. She says, “The Center for Career Development helped me in many ways preparing for the next step in my life during and after at SUNY Broome…I just like that no matter what position you’re in and what questions you may have someone is readily available to help you and guide you in the right direction.”
Cindy particularly found her career coach to be extremely helpful by answering her questions and sharing employment opportunities with her. She says that, during an appointment with her career coach, “she walked me through step by step on editing my resume in the most efficient way possible.”
“Thank you to SUNY Broome for providing a place like the Center for Career Development on campus [so] students can get support on their career readiness and improve on their professional skill development,” Cindy said. She recommends that students take advantage of their services and contact the Center because it can be very “beneficial to one’s growth and success.”
There are many students and alumni who have been assisted through the Center in its over four years of operation. Despite a name change and a year of “going virtual”, the Center’s mission remains the same – assisting and guiding students and alumni along their career journey.