Everyone is going through growing pains during this pandemic. This is especially true for event organizers like the ones here at Keene State Colleg. Career advisors Catherine Lee, Kristen Brooks and Louise Ewing shed some light on what it’s like to transition from setting up tables in Rhodes Hall to using Zoom for students to virtually attend the first of four career clinics this semester.
As a quick overview, the KSC Career Clinic is a space for students to bring resumes and cover letters for review, and ask some quick questions about future career pathways for students who may be wondering, ‘what can I actually do with my major?’
Pre-COVID, this event was held in Rhodes with small tables set up for drop-in meetings– no appointment necessary.
Event organizer Kristen Brooks said the learning curve was huge. They still wanted to provide these services, but weren’t sure at first how to make them accessible to students in a COVID-friendly way. Brooks said she believes they have made a successful transition and have smoothed over some of the rougher edges as the pandemic has continued.
A second event organizer for the career clinic Louise Ewing said, “Everyone has been kind and patient.” She also said that in some ways, Zoom lends itself better to the clinic because all students are able to attend no matter where they are. Of course, everyone is missing the face-to-face interaction but they are grateful they can continue to offer helpful services to students who want them.
In many ways, the clinic is still the same as it was before. All three said no appointment is necessary and students are welcome to drop in the Zoom meeting at any time– students don’t have to come to the beginning of the meeting in order to attend. Unlike the Career and Internship Fair, where students speak to professionals about potential opportunities, the KSC Career Clinic is a casual event. The fair usually calls for business-casual attire, while the clinic is fine with whatever sweats and hoodie you’ve thrown on for the day.
All three women are hoping to see some more traffic now in the spring than they did in the fall. Low turnout last semester was attributed in part to suspected Zoom burnout from students. The hope, at least for Brooks, is that as students get back into the swing of things and more settled in the semester that more students will attend the many advising events lined up for Spring 2021.
One of the major upcoming events from student advising is Resumania where students can drop in (once again, no appointment or registration necessary) to speak to KSC alumni for questions and advice regarding resumes. Interested students can attend Resumania March 9 and find the Zoom link by clicking the event located on the Student Advising page of the KSC website.
The more formal NHCUC Career and Internship Fair will be held on March 10 for which students will need to register in order to attend. For those interested, iHeartMedia will also be in attendance. These are just some of the events planned for this semester, and any students who attend can be sure to be welcomed by friendly faces, eager to talk with them about their futures.
Abigail Dix can be contacted at: