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Career services takes students from backpacks to briefcases

     If someone knew they could never fail, the sky’s the limit.

     That’s what Annie Lan feels her purpose is at Tyler Junior College. Lan is the coordinator for Career Services located on the second floor of the Rogers Student Center, next to the Student Life office.

     “When I was a student at TJC, I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I didn’t even know what Career Services was,” said Lan.

     Career Services’ mission is to help students who are undecided with their majors and are having a difficult time with taking that first step in picking a career. They don’t try to push students into careers that offer the most money; they offer a career assessment test to lead students in the right direction to a profession that they will love so that they will be happy in their work. They never lose sight of students’ goals, objectives and dreams. Those are important factors that determine what type of work would suit them best.

     “A lot of the time, salary and the amount of time a student has to spend in school is a big factor in picking a major,” said Lan.

     Lan understands that students are frustrated when it comes to choosing a career because she was once in their shoes. She knows how difficult it can be when figuring out which path to take as students choose what they want to do for the rest of their lives.

     “I want them to know that there is a resource here they have on campus; that they have someone who is willing to sit and work with them. Not knowing who to talk to can be frustrating when you’re trying to figure it out on your own,” said Lan.

     The Career Services office offers many online resources, puts on monthly workshops for resumes and career building and has over 100 books specific not only to a major, but even books such as: “Starting Your Own Record Label” and “Jobs for Animal Lovers.” But the most popular resource Career Services offers that helps get students on their way are two big websites called: FOCUS and acinet.org. Lan encourages students to use these web pages to their advantage because the information listed on the sites is helpful and can push students into making that career jump. These websites offer information on jobs students can get with their degrees, an estimated income for a specific career that is updated annually and locations for great job offers.

     Career Services also hosts a series of workshops throughout the semester that they encourage students to attend. In the fall, they presented a resume workshop on how to build a resume suitable for job interviews.

     “I learned a lot. I left with two pages of notes and the personal experiences they were giving helped me a lot. They also told us the do’s and don’ts of what to keep off of your resume. It was a really good workshop. I needed that,” said Kathryn Young, a sophomore at TJC.

     The Career Services office does not work alone in putting on workshops. They have many departments that are always willing to lend a helping hand and give their perspective and personal experiences relevant to the workshop.

     “I collaborate with Career Services and we put on workshops for the students’ benefit,” said Ishmael Benjamin, assistant director of Student Life. “I always tell students that I wish I had those to guide me.”

     Many of these resources can be found on the TJC website under the Career Services tabs with links to all of the websites that can guide students into choosing a career.

     “Even if you don’t have Internet access, I want everyone to come to the office and we have a research room full of books, colorful flyers and computers,” said Lan.

     Under the Career Services section of the TJC website there is also a tab for Apache Jobs. The Apache Jobs website is linked to a company called College Network and the students can use the section to search for jobs on and off campus. All students need is their A number and they can make an account and start finding jobs instantly.

     “We’re training students from backpacks to briefcases,” said Lan.

     For more information, visit http://www.tjc.edu/careerservices or give Lan a call at 903-510-2334.

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