Career Center puts students, alumni, employers on best paths

Since 1953, the Mississippi State University Career Center has taken pride in advising students during their college days, and the center’s services extend to alumni of the institution.

Located on the third floor of historic Montgomery Hall, the Career Center is home to 15 full-time staff members dedicated to assisting students in selecting the right major, finding real-world work experience prior to graduation, and landing the job that will place them on the career path of their choice.

Even after students earn degrees, the Career Center’s doors remain open with a range of career-related services, many of which can be accessed through Connections —the center’s online hub for job postings, interviews, and other job-search features. The center assists alumni searching for a job, and organizations looking for ideal candidates to meet their staffing needs.

Each Career Center staff member is assigned an allotment of academic majors and tailors each of their advising sessions to the clients’ needs. For alumni, this includes revamping their resumes, writing cover letters and honing interview skills to prepare for job searches. The place to start is www.career.msstate.edu/alumni.

Scott Maynard, director of the Career Center, said, “The center’s mission is focused on the professional development of all MSU students and alumni, but the services of our office are broad and all-encompassing.”

He continued, “We have specialized software applications designed to meet the job search needs of alumni and a trained staff eager to assist. Technology has opened up new opportunities and resources that make it easy to work with alumni no matter where they live.”

The Career Center subscribes to a variety of software applications. One, CareerShift, was purchased specifically for alumni.

Cassandra Latimer, the center’s associate director, said, “This software lets the user search for opportunities by geographic location. Alumni can see what jobs are posted close to where they currently live or where they might like to move. It works great for couples where one person has accepted a job and the other wants to search for opportunities in that area.”

Technology also allows students and alumni to interview with employers over distance in the center’s room set up for Skype-style interviews, and the technology provides the Career Center a variety of options. Although mostly used by students to interview with employers that cannot travel to campus, the space can also be utilized by employers to interview distance education students and alumni.

Another software application, CareerEco, allows alumni to participate in virtual career fairs that typically take place in April of each year. The Career Center has partnered with the MSU Alumni Association the past two years to host an alumni-only career fair in Nashville, Tennessee. Other cities being considered for similar events include Atlanta, Georgia; and Dallas and Houston, Texas. Alumni may also attend any of the eight on-campus career fairs held each semester.

Mississippi State alumni are also some of the largest supporters of the Career Center, and the center’s staff can assist organizations in meeting their staffing needs. Openings for interns, co-ops, new graduates or experienced professionals can be posted on the center’s website. Employers can also schedule on-campus interviews, register for career fairs or review resumes online.

The Career Center staff works directly with organizations to advertise positions and secure talented applicants to review. The center’s job-posting features and on-campus interview rooms are available at no cost to the employer. However, employers who cannot do onsite interviews at MSU, can be accommodated in several ways—review resumes, email candidates or even set up phone or Skype interviews to talk with the applicants firsthand.

“It does not matter if you are seeking one student or one hundred, you will find our Career Center staff eager to work in meeting your hiring goals,” said Maynard.

For more information, visit www.career.msstate.edu/employers, or call 662-325-3344.

Photography by Keats Haupt