The Office of Career Services hosted their annual Career Services Leadership Institute at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Houston. The three-day event, February 23 – 25, had 75 student-participants and 30 employers to attend. Participants ranged from freshmen to graduate students. This year’s institute theme was “Success Has “U” In it”.
CSLI was created based on feedback from employers and PVAMU graduates who desire to assist students by giving back to the University. Its purpose is to work with students to successfully gain employment by enhancing and improving their professional development, personal/professional brand and “soft skills”. Glenda Jones, director of Career Services, looks for student-participants from all majors and disciplines, but specifically focuses on freshmen and sophomores. “We want to get them prepared early,” said Jones, “but we keep it open from everyone.” The companies that participate in the CSLI have been involved with the University for a number of years and some are PVAMU graduates.
“There are a lot of topics that come up from discussions with employers,” Jones said, “Even some times the students.” She said employers like to discuss students’ involvement on and off campus, decision making, critical thinking and research. Jones offers a Case Study Competition that requires student-participants to research a topic. Students volunteer to be on a team and have less than a day to create a ten-minute presentation and present it to a panel of eight volunteer judges. Judges look at the critical issues of the case, evidence, recommendations for the case study and the delivery process. Concluding the competition, each member of the team receives a Samsung Galaxy tablet.
Although this is not a recruiting event, Jones said there is an opportunity to receive job offers. Of the participants, five students were offered full-time positions. “We are looking forward to this growing more and more,” said Jones, “With the types of gifts we give away and the possibility of internships/full-time job offers, I hope we will increase their number of participants.”
Written by Jourdan B. Scruggs