The Office of Vocation and Career Services is launching its Career Coaching program for the 2022-23 academic year. Career Coaching is a service offered by Reinhardt to support students in career exploration, with services for creating a resume, searching for a job, considering areas of study, and selecting a major. Through customized appointments with a career coach, students set short term action steps to work toward personal long term goals.
“We appreciate Dr. Walter May’s enthusiasm, and commitment to our students. He continues to thoughtfully consider the interests and needs of our students as they search for and embark on their academic and professional careers,” says Mark A. Roberts, Ph.D., president of Reinhardt University. May, Reinhardt’s dean of students, worked with the first career coach volunteer, Chris DeMaio, to develop and launch the program in 2021.
“Chris originally approached Dr. Roberts and me with his desire to mentor college students in their vocation searches,” says May. “We had a number of conversations that shaped our career coaching model.” Since then, May has expanded the program for the current academic year.
The Career Coaching program is a six-month commitment of 30-minute meetings once a month with a career coach. Meeting topics range from setting goals and objectives, networking, and evaluating career options. “The career coaching program is all about providing our students with tools, resources and personalized ongoing attention through their career development and planning processes.”
Career Coaching is available to all Reinhardt students. “We want to prepare our juniors, especially, before they head into their senior year, with the knowledge, skill sets, and confidence to begin their career search before their senior year,” says May. “Career coaching enables students to be steps ahead as seniors, when they typically being the process of finding a job or applying to graduate school.”
May describes Career Coaching as a paradigm shift, thinking differently about how we engage students in meaningful ways with potential job opportunities and community networks. May shares, “We are shifting from a passive engagement when, in the past, students may have stopped by our office to review resumes or job applications to an actively engaged, proactive relationship where we are connecting students with internal and external contacts early in their collegiate experiences, which may ultimately lead to employment.”
There are currently 15 volunteers serving as career coaches from the external community, each a non-profit or business leader. They dedicate two hours a month, mentoring four to five students each. A detailed curriculum directs coaches with plans for each month, September through April, that encourage students with a variety of topics and discussions.
Career Coach volunteers are still needed! Anyone interested in volunteering can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the online volunteer application. Volunteers accepted as coaches will be asked to complete a background check and an orientation session.