Career Services Advisor
For many students, starting or advancing a career is the primary reason to attend college. But finding that first job can become a difficult challenge. At Rasmussen College, students and alumni have access to individualized career services and a career services advisor who will help them prepare for a successful career.
“Right now, the job market can be tough for anyone,” said Charity Morrow, Career Services Advisor at the Rasmussen College Bloomington campus. “I truly believe we are giving our students the resources they need to be successful in their field, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing.”
Morrow has been with Rasmussen College for five years. She started in admissions before transitioning into career services about a year-and-a-half ago. Morrow says she spends about half of her day working with students and alumni on things like resumes, cover letters and mock interviews. The other half is dedicated to building relationships with local businesses.
“Every CSA (career services advisor) belongs to networking groups or professional associations,” said Morrow. “We use those connections to find job openings to pass on to our students.”
Tailoring job openings to students, Morrow says, is one of the things that makes Rasmussen College’s career services experience so unique. And this is more than a large bulletin board riddled with job postings. Employers post job openings on Job Connect, Rasmussen College’s own online employment database. The free website lists openings both close to home and nationwide. It’s only available to Rasmussen College students and alumni.
But before students start to apply, CSAs make sure they are putting their best foot forward.
“Every student has done something to make them stand out,” said Morrow. “I get to know my students. I know what type of job they are looking for and where they are applying. I help them reach their full potential and learn how to turn that into an asset in their job search.”
At Rasmussen College, students and alumni also have access to Optimal Resume, a user friendly system that guides students and graduates through building an excellent resume and cover letter. It’s also customized to their field.
“Each quarter, we [CSAs] go in there and add programmatic resume and cover letter templates based on what the job market is looking for,” said Morrow. “I can then go into Optimal Resume and help my students with their resumes and cover letters.”
Optimal Resume also provides virtual interview preparation where students can record themselves answering mock interview questions. Morrow says she also conducts mock interviews with her students, as well as helps them build professional portfolios. And if that’s not enough, CSAs also manage graduation ceremonies and help plan career and networking expos at all 24 Rasmussen College campuses – twice a year.
“The best part of my job is seeing my students from years past successful today in their careers,” said Morrow. “I’ve held on to a few thank you letters as proof we are doing what we said we were going to do.”
A student’s college experience doesn’t end when he or she graduates. In fact, many will proudly wear their college colors for years to come. Graduates may also find themselves networking with past classmates or instructors as they take that next step in their career.
At Rasmussen College, graduates automatically become a member of the Rasmussen College Alumni Association, which is free from fees and donations. Its purpose is to support alumni as they continue their success after graduation and through their career.
“Personally, from my experience, I know the importance of networking,” said Anne Sumangil, Director of the Rasmussen College Alumni Association. “An alumni association can sometimes be the best place to network, because you automatically share a special bond with these people. You all went to the same college.”
Sumangil has been with Rasmussen College for about three years. Prior to joining the Rasmussen College Alumni Association, Sumangil worked in alumni relations at the University of Minnesota.
“I love connecting current and past students with our alumni and watching those relationships grow,” said Sumangil. “We’re not saying ‘goodbye’ after graduation. Rather, let us know how we can continue to make you successful.”
At Rasmussen College, alumni have access to career and library services. This includes Job Connect and Optimal Resume. Through social media and a quarterly newsletter, alumni are also kept up to date on upcoming career expos, both as a job seeker and potential employer. Recently, the alumni association also wrapped up its first Law Enforcement Mentor Program which matched criminal justice students at the Twin Cities campuses with alumni working in the law enforcement field.
“The mentor program also focused on continuing education for alumni currently working in law enforcement through speakers and other events,” said Sumangil.
Continuing education, Sumangil says, is a big part of the Rasmussen College Alumni Association. It hosts virtual webinars on a variety of topics that are open to both alumni and community partners. Recently, the alumni association gave a webinar on how to use technology to excel in the workplace.
“My goal is to find topics beneficial to all fields,” said Sumangil.
Sumangil also puts together a monthly newsletter called @Rasmussen. Along with career and campus news, the newsletter always features successful alumni.
“I love the featured alumni piece of the newsletter because it really inspires you,” said Sumangil. “Hopefully, connections are made through these articles.”
Every Rasmussen College graduate is encouraged to join the alumni association by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about how strong support services can lead to academic success, check out the entire five-part series on student support.