Educators: Best Practices to Welcome Students Back

Entry by Pat Patterson

Summer break is quickly coming to a close, and students will soon pack up their belongings and return to their college campuses.  As educators, it is best to engage these students in career services activities as soon as possible. 

The following are a few ideas to help career services professionals welcome students back to campus and encourage them to visit the career office:

  • Create flyers to distribute in living units and common areas, which list the first few career services events of the year,
  • engage in social media by advertising your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn pages,
  • host a beginning of the year cook-out or ice cream social (perhaps the “fee” for attending can be that students have to bring a resume for review or take a Myers-Briggs Test, etc.),
  • reward the first hundred or so students who visit the career office with t-shirts, professional resume paper, professional folders, etc.,
  • have a raffle after a month or so where students receive a raffle ticket each time they visit the career office, and
  • coordinate a student orientation to career services.

These are just a few ideas that I came across when I worked for Wabash College career services as a student.  One thing that worked well at Wabash was a freshman orientation to career services, where all the freshmen gathered to learn all about the career office – the students were also given career interest evaluations and had to return them to the career office in order to have an account in Wabash’s online internship/job database.  An orientation can be fun too – check out the “Wabash College Career Services Cribs” video I created for the orientation (it is a parody of MTV’s Cribs). 

Every year at the freshmen orientation, the assistant director of career services at Wabash tells a story about a freshman who followed her back to the career office after orientation to get started on his resume.  During his senior year that same student was the first person in his class to secure a job.  As educators, you know how important it is for students to start thinking about life after college early on. 

Do you have any other ideas, suggestions, or best practices? Leave your comments below.

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