Career course aims to give students a head start on job hunt

Career course aims to give students a head start on job hunt
Students in the Metro State’s “Reinventing Your Career: Theory and Practice” course will learn about hiring practices from 3M professionals and participate in mock interviews. The class may have the opportunity to tour 3M’s Innovation Center at the global headquarters in St. Paul, pictured here. Image courtesy of 3M.

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Metro State seniors may have a nagging worry: What are my post-graduation plans? The Career Center doesn’t want students to put off plotting their transition into the workforce.

Students typically focus on their degree when they are in school and concentrate on a job search once they are finished, said Bill Baldus, director of the Career Center. Job seekers usually go online to submit applications and they repeat this process only to experience poor results.

“It’s a difficult way to go,” Baldus said. “There is more to a good search than going online.”

By going online, students are only accessing 20 percent of available jobs. To illustrate his point Baldus drew an iceberg and indicated how several individuals are only touching the tip of the iceberg. The other 80 percent of job opportunities encompass the “hidden job market.”

Baldus believes students should focus more on this segment of the job market. “Employers will rather talk with someone they know or someone one of their staff knows,” he said.

To help students find more success with their job searches, Baldus will teach a course entitled “Reinventing Your Career: Theory and Practice” (METR 110) in fall semester. The two-credit course will meet Thursday afternoons, Sept. 27 to Nov. 8 on the St. Paul campus.

Baldus said students will learn ways to show off their talents to potential employers.  They will work on individualized job search plans, resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn web pages, and networking skills. They will discover how to connect with professionals and access the hidden job market. Students will arrange informational interviews within in their fields of interest.

Representatives from 3M, the Minnesota-based multinational corporation, will join the class to discuss hiring practices and the workplace environment. Students will also prepare for mock interviews with 3M staff.

The class will also serve as a support group, said Baldus. Instead of going at it alone, student job seekers will have classmates to turn to for assistance and encouragement. They will receive professional and peer feedback throughout the course.

Baldus said the class is for students who seek structure and are ready to start their job search. Many students have difficulty moving beyond the reflection stage, so the curriculum will help them take actionable steps toward their career goals.

Mary Schober Martin, a former student in the class  and now an academic advisor in the School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, said she appreciated the organization of the class. “This course structures time to best explore and prepare for your career search,” she said.

Martin said the class facilitated her readiness to interact with employers and how to approach others confidently.  She developed a written statement to help her speak about career goals during networking.

“This course gives you time to develop your statement and practice delivery,” she said.

She also offered high praise for the instructor Bill Baldus.  “I give him credit for providing a classroom that was comfortable to share ideas and discussions for all students,” she said. “Bill was encouraging and supportive.”

For more information on “Reinventing Your Career: Theory and Practice” (METR 110), email william.baldus@metrostate.edu.

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