Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Viking Voices - Podcast: Lauren Hubacheck, Director of Career Services at Salem State University

In this edition of our conversations we inaugurate the Salem State Viking Voices podcast. This first episode features my talk with Lauren Hubacheck, Director of Career Services at Salem State University. 

By way of introduction Lauren has been the Director of Career Services at Salem State University since August of 2012. Prior to that she served as Associate Director of Employer Relations at Florida International University. 

Since coming to Salem State Lauren's goals have included establishing the vision and directing the priorities for the Career Services Office. She has helped to develop and maintain university partnerships with employers, coordinate an extensive career readiness program across campus for all students, and to collaborate with the Salem State Community to foster an environment of career development and learning that will enhance the career outcomes of our students and graduates. 

Lauren leads a team of Associate Directors, Assistant Directors, and Administrative Assistants in successfully delivering signature career development to Salem State University students and alumni.

Lauren and I talk about the many ways that the Career Services Office benefits students and our alumni community. Looking for your first job? Need help applying for graduate school? Making a mid-career change? Looking for great employees for your business? The Salem State Career Services Office will help. 

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I asked Lauren to talk about the Career Services Office and how alumni may take advantage. Lauren said that over the past several years the Career Services Office has evolved including, "Building out a whole side of our office that functions as an employer relations team." Lauren commented that the effort has resulted in increased engagement with alumni and employers and is a positive addition to Salem State's already great culture. "The Career Services Office exists to help students and alumni, while students are here on campus and after. We help as they are in the career development process and later transitions in careers," Lauren said.  

For example, first year students can get help with study discipline and study plan. There are processes of career development that benefit students across their time at Salem. These include: opportunities for internships and networking, résumé building, cover letter help, and other elements that relate to career development, job search strategy or graduate school search.

I asked Lauren to talk about about the ways that the Career Services Office engages with alumni. Lauren defined that, "We engage alumni in two ways: We think about those alumni who are in career transition, seeking employment or grad school, and those alumni who are out there in the world of work. We work with alumni who are looking to engage new employees through Salem State for their businesses." 

For Alumni seeking employment or career transition Career Services Online (cso) Offers:
  • an online job Posting Board;
  • the ability to build a profile which you can share with prospective employers;
  • Interview Stream, an online interview practice tool you can use from home using a computer and a web camera;
  • a Resource Library including –
    • Career-related Articles/Blogs,
    • Career Services Fact Book,
    • Career Services Handouts,
    • On-Campus Recruiting.
There are -
  • Career Advice Videos;
  • Job Search Tools;
  • Résumé Creator Tools;
  • Career Event Schedules;
  • Access to the Campus Career Coach; and
  • Other resources.
Lauren said that alumni can also come into the office, "Where a career coach will meet with you one on one and spend about 45 minutes detailing a plan."

For alums who are looking to hire or increase the talent pipeline for their companies the Career Services Office offers a number of ways to get involved. These include:
  • Programming in the academic classroom where faculty will request to have an alumni come into the classroom and speak on -
    • a career development topic, or
    • a career related to coursework;
  • Career panel series examples include -
    • Internship panel (students who are on internships and alum who have succeeded though an internship),
    • Career focus panels including recent panels on -
      • Sustainability,
      • Careers with animals,
      • Careers in the environment;
  • Alumni may host students at your company -
    • partnering clubs or organizations,
    • partnering with faculty to bring a class,
      • Tours,
      • Company overviews,
      • "What are you hiring for?"
I asked Lauren about opportunities for companies to visit campus. Lauren said, "We have increased the number of fairs we offer. We offer a student employment fair in the first week of school in September."  Lauren continued, "We hosted 59 companies with the focus of talking with students about internships and part time employment for students while on campus."

Along with the Bertolon School of Business Accounting Association and the Alpha Chapter on campus, "We offer a meet the firms nights," said Lauren. Now in its third year this event recently featured 19 companies who where looking for accounting and finance recruitment. This resulted in students who, "Right now have offers on the table for employment after graduation in the spring," said Lauren.

"We do a large comprehensive career fair in March," Lauren continued. "We cap at 139 companies recruiting at the event." Due to the success of the employer relations effort the event has grow to outstretch the capacity for the largest space available on campus 

Lauren noted that although the primary focus may be on entry level positions often companies have positions for more experienced individuals. "We move those opportunities over to the Salem State LinkedIn groups," said Lauren. 

Because there is such a heavy population of great individuals among Salem State alumni on LinkedIn the Career Services office becomes a conduit for career opportunities for students and alumni in all career phases. Lauren continued, "This can be for those alumni who are actively looking for a change and those perhaps who aren't looking but could be intrigued by a new opportunity that comes along." 

The Salem State LinkedIn groups include:
Lauren concluded our conversation by pointing out that alumni may not think about coming back to take advantage of Salem State University Career Services but should. Lauren stressed there are many reason why, "One is we are a free service to alums." Lauren said career services can assist alumni whether it is the resources mentioned above or by helping think through how their skills apply. "Their liberal arts education coupled with their experiences can transfer into a new industry or a new opportunity," said Lauren.  

Thanks for checking out this week's Viking Voices. I am looking forward to our next conversation.

You can join in the conversation by following this blog and checking out the many social media outlets available to our Salem State community. A short list of some of these venues are below.

Go Vikings!

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