Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

It saddened me that your recent article, “Post-grad (un) employment” made no mention of the free career and professional development services available to all VCU students and new alumni.

I agree with your lamentation that education and preparation should be enough to land a college graduate job, however, it’s unfortunately not the way the world works.

No employer creates a job just because a person needs to work. An employer creates a job because they have a problem that needs solving. As a job seeker, you must convince the employer you are the solution to that problem.

I believe VCU students receive an excellent academic education that provides them with the knowledge necessary to succeed in their chosen career field. However, while striving to earn their degree and gain practical experience, they often fail to develop the skills necessary to conduct and effective job search.

These skills include: How to write a targeted resume and cover letter; conduct a focused search; build contacts, answer interview questions and negotiate etc.

As you said in your article, “the college classroom is not your only source of knowledge.” All of those skills can learned for free through one of the university’s three career centers: VCU Career Services, School of Business Career Services and School of Engineering Career Services.

Career skills are not something that can be taught in a single class, but instead are developed and honed over time and through practice.

Our staff is incredibly committed to the success of students. One thing we consistently hear from alumni is that they wish they had come to see us sooner, so we encourage students to come in early and often.

Students may meet specifically with a VCU Career Service adviser by calling 804-828-1645 or visiting the University Career Center in the Student Commons during Drop-in hours. We also host numerous events throughout school year including 14 industry-specific career fairs.

As career advisers, we understand the frustration the some students face searching for job. We know that moving on to the next phase of one’s life is one part exciting and one part terrifying.

We strive to teach students (and new alumni) the skills to become effective and savvy job seekers.

Respectfully,

Brian Nicholas

VCU Career Services

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