FAQ’s from NDSU Students:
Q: Why did you switch to Drop-ins only?
A: Career Center’s across the US have, and continue, to switch to this model as they have found it much easier to meet with more students during the course of a school year. With no appointments, we won’t have to worry about students missing an appointment or showing up late for those appointments. With the new model, students should be able to receive the guidance and services more efficiently and not have to wait around for staff availability if we are booked out two weeks.
Q: How long can I stay in the Studio area to work on my career prep?
A: This is something the Career Center is the most excited about: There will be no time limit! In the past, a student could only stay as long as their appointment was scheduled for as there was likely another student scheduled right after. Now, if you have a quick question or two you can stay for a few minutes. If you have to work on a resume, cover letter, and want to discuss preparing for a Career Fair and what you should wear, you can do so all at one time and stay for a few hours! It won’t matter to us, we’ll be glad to have you stop by for any amount of time!
Q: How will I know that I get to see someone when I come in? What if I only have a half hour before my next class and need to see someone and none of the staff members are available?
A: At all times, there will be two Career Mentors and one Career Coach on the floor in the Studio. We will be available to rotate around to those in our space and should be able to get to everyone in a timely and efficient manner.
Q: What if I want to meet with a specific staff member?
A: The student workers, or Career Mentors, are undergoing a very thorough 40 hour training week prior to the start of school and will also receive one hour of training every week throughout the semester. We are doing this so that they are equipped to best answer your questions and provide you with the best services possible! And again, a professional staff member will also be available at all hours for drop-in services as well.
Q: What services can I come in for?
A: All of the same services as before! We will still be here to provide guidance and resources for: career exploration, resume and cover letters, interview preparation, mock interviews, internship guidance and enrollment assistance, LinkedIn/networking, Graduate school materials, and much more!
FAQ’s from NDSU Staff and Faculty:
Q: Where did this studio model idea come from?
A: The University of Nevada, Reno has been at the forefront of this movement. Check out their NACE article at: The Career Studio: Flipping the Career Center
Q: Why are student staff going to be doing the 1-on-1 services instead of professional staff?
A: Professional staff members are still going to be on the Studio floor and there working with student customers, along with our student workers or Career Mentors. At all times, there will be at least 1 professional staff member and two Career Mentors there to assist with student questions and guidance. The goal behind the new model is to increase scalability of our services. With the new model, we will be able to assist more than 1 student at one time by providing guidance and suggestions on their documents or topics and rotating around the studio to assist others while the student works on incorporating the recommendations. Along with this increased capacity in our studio, this will also free up time for professional staff to provide in class presentations, reach out to faculty and student organizations, and develop more liaison partnerships with employers in our area, our region, and throughout the US! If you have any immediate ideas about how the Career Center can help your departments get more connected with specific employers or industries, please contact your college liaison for further details and discussion.
Q: Why the drop-ins? What about students who prefer an appointment?
A: More than ever before, we live in a society of immediate gratification. The Career Center is making this shift to better meet the needs and desires of our students. We will now have the opportunity to capitalize on the students ambition and energy to work on career preparation when it comes up, and not run the risk of this enthusiasm burning up before the allotted appointment time arises. The drop-ins will also help us to avoid wasted time from a missed appointment that could have been used up by another student in need of getting questions answered. In the past, we have reserved a half hour to an hour for a student appointment and if they didn’t show up then we would meet with no students. Now, there should always be a few staff members around and they are able to meet the need of the student as it comes up. If there is a student you feel would particularly benefit from an appointment or if their situation warrants a 1-on-1 with a professional staff member, please have them contact us and we can take it from there.
Q: How will this new model affect referrals?
A: Simply put, it shouldn’t have to affect or require much change on your part. Students can still come in for the same services as before, we are just omitting the scheduling ahead of time. We found that many students would have several topics that they wished to cover in one meeting, and they will no longer have to worry about the time constraint of our previously scheduled appointments. If there is a student that you feel should have direct, 1-on-1 services from a professional staff member, please have that student contact us or provide us with their contact information.
Q: What if students aren’t comfortable meeting with other students for their career related questions?
A: Based on information provided to us by two large universities that have been incorporating the peer support model in their Career Centers for years, this hasn’t been an issue they have encountered. In fact, some universities have actually shared that students prefer being able to talk to someone who recently went through the exploration process or through an internship themselves. On those campuses, the student population has reported that they feel at ease speaking to someone close in age that they feel can relate directly to their current situation. We are empowering our Career Mentors to advocate for their skills and training as well, as they are being trained for a 40 hour week before the semester starts and 1 hour per week throughout the course of the semester. However, our Career Mentors are also being trained that if the conversation at hand goes beyond what they have been trained to cover or if a student requests meeting with a professional staff member, to refer them on to one of us.
Q: How will this Studio model impact the students that I am sending over for a classroom assignment (mock interviews, resume critiques, etc.)?
A: This process likely won’t have to change much for the departments making the requests. On our end, we will still meet with these students for the requested service, we will just have to ensure that we have enough “hands on deck” to meet the need when the students are assigned to visit our center. Classroom assignments that require previous coordination and prep time on our end (i.e. Mock Interviews) can still be scheduled as in the past if desired. That said, we are very fortunate to have hired on some AMAZING Career Mentors for the fall, and they are here and willing to pick up more of our day-to-day tasks while the professional staff continues to meet with your students on various career related topics.