Wednesday, July 21, 2010
With a state unemployment rate of 10.7 percent and the seemingly unavailability of jobs in this strife economy, most have lost hope in landing their dream job. This, coupled with recent graduates who have little prior experience, only adds to a dismal outlook for gaining any employment. How can you succeed with so many challenges?
Despite what seems to be a million obstacles, SC State University’s Career Center has come to the aid of more than 60 students from April 1, 2010 to May 7, 2010, an increase from the approximately 30 students the center assisted last year in providing internships, co-ops, part-time and permanent job offers.
SC State student Tyrus Leach is one such lucky recipient. He received a six week internship with the Budget and Control Board’s Fleet Management Division located in Columbia, S.C. Luck certainly meant a great opportunity for Leach as just a few months ago he was standing in the Career Center lobby reviewing their brochures on job opportunities. Leach says that he was approached by career counselor Rudine Williams. “She just approached me and asked me what I was doing for the summer,” says Leach. “I had a part-time job, but when she told me about this opportunity, I applied and attended the company’s orientation.”
Now, Leach sits among the employees of the state’s Budget and Control Board. Equipped with an office and company car, Leach keeps track of the maintenance for government vehicles, noting which vehicles are costing the company the most money and thinking of innovative ways to assist the organization in saving additional dollars. “So far, this internship is great,” says Leach. “I’m really comfortable and I love the fact that everyone works together. To get the job done, it has to be a collaborative effort.”
Luck reigned for Leach who at the time he received his internship, was not among the more than 1,600 students registered with the Career Center. This online registration service gathers pertinent information about students, including a resume. Now, Leach says he’s running to the Career Center to take advantage of every service that is offered. While there, Leach will join students like Justin Shine who have done just that. “I have registered online with the Career Center,” says Shine. “They have also assisted me with resume building. They are a great help.” The assistance that the Career Center offered Shine helped him to obtain a co-op with BMW in Spartanburg, S.C.
Through his work with the Career Center, Shine knew about the center’s career fairs. He attended a career fair in February, 2010 and met some of the BMW associates. “After meeting them, I decided to apply for the job online,” says Shine. “To my surprise, I surpassed the students from some of the bigger universities and got the job. I was just myself.”
Lou Anne Wilkes was just herself too when she received a job offer two weeks prior to graduation. In an accent from her Trinidad and Tobago heritage, Wilkes recalls how she received her current job as a mental health specialist for the Clemson Youth Development Center located at Camp Long in Aiken, S.C. “The director of the camp came to the Career Center to do interviews,” says Wilkes. “I put my name down for the interview and I ended up getting through.” Wilkes says that she thoroughly enjoys her job. “It’s like a family here,” says Wilkes. “It’s a fulfilling job and it’s what I’ve always wanted to do, to do something in non-profits.”
Wilkes also notes the rewarding feeling of walking across the stage in May 2010 knowing that a job awaited the following week. The Career Center wants to ensure that every student has this same feeling, and they are well on their way. Wilkes, Leach and Shine are just a few of the students who received prominent offers. From the over sixty students who obtained jobs, the Clemson Summer Youth Institute led the pack, placing 20 students for summer employment. The Savannah River Site followed, offering co-ops, internships and permanent placement to 17 SC State students. The Career Center continued to deliver, with eight students placed with Bi-Lo, Inc. Five students are currently employed by the Ag Discovery Program, and positions were filled by Kraft and Okonite, Duke, Geico and the Oregon Department of Transportation. In addition, over 20 students in education received permanent job offers.
Joseph Thomas, interim director for the SC State University Career Center, is just as ecstatic as the students that have been afforded such wonderful opportunities. “I am thrilled that the Career Center can continue to provide some type of relief for current students and recent graduates who were worried about receiving employment in a tough economy,” says Thomas. “I also take pride in the Career Center staff, as well as the many companies who expeditiously come to our aid in the form of co-ops, internships, permanent job placement and scholarships. We will work diligently to maintain these positive relationships so that we can continue to deliver to our students and alumni.”
For additional information on SC State University’s Career Center, call 803-536-7033.