There’s no better way to get hands-on experience than attending a workshop. The Career Services department hosts a series of workshops each semester for students to get that extra training with professional fields outside of Tyler Junior College academics. The Assistant Director of Student Life, Ishmael Benjamin, is constantly collaborating with Career Services to make sure the students get what they need from these workshops.
“I have a car-care workshop in place, which will teach students the importance of car maintenance,” said Benjamin. “I also have a computer-care workshop where students can bring their laptops to learn about computer maintenance.”
Whether students want to learn how to write a resume, know the logistics of fixing simple car problems or learning key tricks to fixing a computer, TJC wants to make sure they are providing workshops that the students would like to see on campus.
“It’s important for students to attend the workshops because they are free,” said Benjamin. “The knowledge from these workshops will not only help you be successful on a college level, but in life as well.”
The workshops held by Career Services are not associated with classes on campus. These aren’t ordinary workshops hosted by your college professors; these are a wide spectrum of workshops on presented by professionals that teach students skills they can take off campus.
“We are also having a financial literacy workshop. I think it’s something that we definitely need out here,” said Benjamin.
The financial literacy workshop will guide students on how to obtain financial aid. It will teach who can qualify for grants, which loans are the best to take out, how to pay loans back and the amount of money available. They will be discussing financial aid and how simple it can be to receive it. The date for this event is to be determined and will be posted around campus soon.
The Career Services center is making sure they are making the workshops more interactive and have people move around to not only learn the message of the workshop, but also to get to know other students with the same interests.
“I don’t know about any of the workshops on campus because I don’t live here,” said Robyn Sewell, a freshman at TJC. “I would like to see a workshop for filling out applications such as FAFSA [Free Application for Federal Student Aid].”
The students’ concerns were met. On March 22, the Financial Aid department is having a financial aid workshop about FAFSA applications.
Usually while some students are sitting in the audience, others are working behind-the-scenes to get the most out of the experience.
“Usually, I’m helping with the workshops,” said Haley Koonce, sophomore at TJC. “They benefit the students because there’s always something you need improvement on. There is always something that we don’t always know what to do or need help with.”
Kim Harden is the staff aide for Career Services and encourages the students to take advantage of something that is free.
“Free is always good,” said Harden. “When the students go out into the work force, the students will know the skills and techniques of how to get a job.”
The variety of workshops at TJC are endless and Student Life, along with other departments, hosted a Health Fair on March 1 about updating a health report card with a series of tests including HIV testing, blood pressure, glucose and dental hygiene. Running these tests are very expensive at a doctor’s office, but was free of charge on-campus. There also was a Black History Month Open Panel discussion on Feb. 24 over minority issues and a resume workshop this past semester.
“If you look at all the workshops we have done so far, it goes beyond college,” said Benjamin. “I’m using the resources on campus to help students become more successful.”
Benjamin and Annie Lan will be hosting more workshops throughout the semester .The advertisements will be posted around Jenkins Hall, Rogers Student Center, Pirtle Technology Building and A-frames will also be in the walkways on the way to classes. For more information and updates on workshops, call Benjamin at 903-510-2613.