Career services expand following staff vacancy
By Rebecca Salinas
Career Services will add two new employees in the coming weeks. The director of career services will oversee the day-to-day operations of Career Services, maintain the university’s on-campus job portal “Jaguar Jobs” and communicate with employers. An adviser will also join the team to host workshops and assist the director.
The director will take office Dec. 2, but the university has not hired the adviser, said Joanna Benavidez-Franke, assistant vice president for student engagement and success.
Both the adviser and the director’s job responsibilities will include reviewing students’ resumes and cover letters. The director will be located in Room 362 of the Main Campus Building and the adviser will be located at Brooks City-Base Campus.
In the interim, Benavidez-Franke is fulfilling the duties of both positions by reviewing student resumes on a weekly basis. Resumes are routed to Franke by email or through Jaguar Jobs applications.
Student engagement oversees Career Services, which is all under Student Affairs.
Student Affairs employed one full-time staff member in Career Services, who split time between Main Campus and Brooks Campus, until the post was vacated.
Career Services has been vacant since career adviser Bennett Grey left the university almost two months ago.
Meanwhile, until the director takes office, students have a number of off-campus resources to provide additional support.
Some students interviewed said they did not know the university had career services, or they complete their resumes themselves without assistance.
Business junior Katrina Reyna said, “I don’t even know where to go (for career services) here.”
She said she used the resume workshops at San Antonio College or ¡Adelante! U.S. Education Leadership Fund.
¡Adelante! is a program established by Miller Brewing Company and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. The program was made to “address the epidemic of Hispanic drop-outs,” according to its website.
¡Adelante!’s National Leadership Institute is located in San Antonio, but they host regional workshops in Chicago, Denver, Miami and El Paso.
Jay Zambrano, executive director of ¡Adelante!, said students can receive career guidance and resume reviews, but students must make an appointment due to restricted space.
In addition, he suggested students should ask either family members or professionals to see what life course they took that led to getting a job.
Don’t overlook family members and professionals as potential sources who can help review resumes and cover letters, he added.
Students, Zambrano recommended, should not only ask what process they went through to get a job, but also inquire what they did right or wrong.
“Those answers are worth a lot of money,” he said.
He said although students may feel nervous and overwhelmed, discussion about future goals helps shape a plan.
Rodney Lewis, counseling and guidance senior, said he does not think enough students use the services provided by the university.
“I don’t know why students wouldn’t use it,” he said.
He said he did use Grey’s services, but he also went to Workforce Solutions Alamo, a company that helps students and others with career services.
Lewis said to build his resumes, he goes online and looks at free templates as examples.
Benavidez-Franke also suggested students go to Workforce Solutions.
According to workforcesolutionsalamo.org, Workforce Solutions has Career Centers that provide career counseling, job matching and referral, resume writing workshops, and job application workshops.
Services are free, open to the public with no appointment needed.
Workforce Solutions has five local career centers. The closest center available to students enrolled at Texas A&M-San Antonio is located at 6723 S. Flores St., Suite 100., approximately 7 miles from the Brooks Campus and 10 miles from Main Campus.
Eleven full service centers are also located in cities outside San Antonio, including Pearsall, New Braunfels, Seguin, Floresville and Hondo.
A list of centers is available at http://workforcesolutionsalamo.org/center/all.asp.
For students who take classes at one of the Alamo Colleges, each has their own Career Services department.
Students who attend Palo Alto College can go to their Center for Academic Transition, Room 101 of the college student center, to receive one-on-one services.
Arianna Lay, director of the center for academic transition, said the department offers resume and cover letter reviews, career matching and interview preparation.
Lay said students can walk-in without an appointment, but if a student expects to spend more than 30 minutes with an adviser, they should consider making an appointment.
She added students need to bring their Banner ID.
Cafécollege, which is funded by the city of San Antonio, also offers career assessments and career exploration. Its services are managed and directed by the San Antonio Education Partnership.
Located at 131 El Paso St., Cafécollege is about 9 miles from Brooks Campus and 10 miles from Main Campus.
Career Adviser Jennifer McDaniels said advisers can give feedback on resumes and cover letters.
Students can also go to the center to use an online program called Choices Planner, which is a resume builder, she said.
She said appointments are not required, and the services are free.