CAREER COUNSELING 1
When students edge towards completing college education, they aresometimes uncertain of securing the right job. Colleges hirecounselors to assist students in approaching their career life withconfidence and a positive attitude. As an inquisitive observer of thestudents’ habits that are usually dominated by precariousness, Ivisited Mr. McLaren, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)career advisor, to get information concerning the way he assistsstudents. I visited him at his office in the institute on 20 May 2016for an 11.00 o’clock appointment.
Me: Good morning sir, my name is Alex Jr. I am a student herein MIT College. I have been observing the number of students comingto your office, and I have noticed a significant increase. Thepurpose of my visit is to inquire about the services your officeoffers and how you go about it.
Mr. McLaren: Thank you, Alex, for visiting my office. I cameto this university 12 years ago, and I have assisted numerousstudents before they enter the job market. Most of the times, withoutthe right attitude, students are likely to get frustrated wheneverthey do not meet their expectations (Fouad et al., 2006).
Me: Which types of students seek the help of your office?
Mr. McLaren: Thank you for that question Alex. Contrary to thenotion that students can easily adjust to their future careers, it isusually an uphill task for many. Nearly all types of students come tomy office. Those who have just began college as well as those who areon their way out. Some come as individuals and others in groups.
Me: What type information do you provide to them?
Mr. McLaren: First, I always insist on the choice of the rightcareer path. I then emphasize the need to cultivate the rightattitude and forming networks. I also apprise students on the careerphases that they should expect after college. First, there is theplateau, which is followed by an acceleration phase depending on theskills and determination of the worker (Fouad et al., 2006). For the12 years I have been working in this institution, I have formed arich network of professionals in diverse fields. Whenever I have anopportunity, I link students with practicing professionals and theygive me feedback after the internship period is over. The collegeapproved the idea, and it has helped in orienting students to realwork environments as well as forming strong networks.
Me: How do you help students determine whether they haveemployability skills?
Mr. McLaren: Besides networking and exposing students toprofessional environments, my office exploits technology to exposestudents to the growing trends in the job market. There are variousprofessional online platforms where experienced workers and studentscan interact. In the process of socialization, students get to knowif they are acquiring the right skills for the job market.
Me: Do students benefit from the program.
Mr. McLaren: Yes they do. I always evaluate the success of myoffice services by the feedback given by students once they leavecollege. We receive hundreds of positive feedbacks every year, andthis gives us the motivation to continue guiding other interestedscholars.
Me: Thank you, Mr. McLaren. I now understand the paramountrole played by your office in the institution. I look forward tobenefiting from your insight as I prepare to enter the job market.
Mr. McLaren: You are welcome to my office Alex.
Me: Thank you so much and have a good day, sir.
Fouad, N. A.,Guillen, A., Harris-Hodge, E., Henry, C., Novakovic, A., Terry, S., &Kantamneni, N. (2006). Need, awareness, and use of career servicesfor college students. Journal of Career Assessment, 14(4),407-420.