By Casey Britten
For students, starting the search process for that first ‘real job’ after college can be intimidating; it’s difficult to know the best place to begin.
“We started offering these regularly in spring 2021 as a way to connect our students and employers virtually,” explains Cindy Stoeger, who coordinates the events. “They are meant to be very casual and comfortable for students and employers alike.”
The chats provide an opportunity for students to learn about companies in a stress-free way. Students want to know whether a company will be a good fit for them; this gives them the chance to learn about company culture, community involvement and benefits before jumping in with both feet.
For employers in the current challenging job market, it’s a chance to get in front of our students.
“The employer chats are a great way for us to provide info about our organization while also providing great tips and tricks for students to use regardless of where their careers take them,” says Ben Kleist, who is a senior accountant at SECURA Insurance and has participated in several chants. “FVTC always does a great job providing networking and skill building opportunities for students, helping them build relationships before they graduate and head out into the full-time working world.”
Feedback from students has also been positive. Through survey responses, students have shared these comments:
“Great information on resumes and cover letters. She touched base on what to do if you’re switching to a different career.”
—Surgical Technology student
“There was a lot of enthusiasm in the chat. It’s great that someone at a high level is willing to spend time with us! It’s also valuable to hear how employees were able to progress and move to different areas that aligned with their desires/skill set.”
“The chat provided some really good info and insights on what employers are looking for.”
Some FVTC faculty members have incorporated the chats into their curriculum, and see great benefits for students.
“My students love attending the chats. I do too!” says marketing instructor Jeanette Gile. “I can’t think of an easier way to network and learn from a broad range of organizations in our area. My students gain valuable career insights. Feedback also tells me that the chats help motivate students to continue working hard because they see the future possibilities.”
There are about 10 chats scheduled each semester and they are open to students and faculty.
This article originally appeared here.