Magazine On-line [spring 2007]
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Around the Campus

Susan Rayer and students

Susan Rayer tries out the new conference table with students, from left, sophomore Park Walden, first-year student Thomas Tolliver, Rayer, sophomores Aaron Brown and Adam Wilkins, and senior Amanda Wakefield.

A new day dawns for Career Development Center

Susan Rayer beams with pride as she shows visitors through the recently renovated space that is the Career Development Center’s new home in the Mitchell Fine Arts Center. With its modern furnishings and up-to-date technology, the center is now better equipped than ever to assist students and alumni as they develop and implement career plans.

“Our goal is to be of service to each and every student as well as alumni,” said Rayer, director of the center, which is located in a section formerly occupied by the bookstore. “We’re very excited about this new space.”

Funding for the project was included in Transylvania’s 225th Anniversary Campaign.

Assistant Director Michael Cronk pointed out the importance of the impression the center makes on its visitors. “With employers coming here from off campus, we wanted to have a very professional appearance, as well as for the students,” he said.

Among the highlights of the center’s new home are a more sequestered conference area and improved computer work stations for students to use while preparing resumes and researching companies, organizations, and graduate programs.

“We do a lot of workshops around the conference table, and students come in and use our resources and the table,” Rayer said. “The nearby bookshelves are convenient. The space is more private visually than our former setup.”

staff of Career Development Center
The Career Development Center staff includes, from left, assistant director Michael Cronk, secretary Nancy Ruegg, and director Susan Rayer.

Private offices for Rayer and Cronk are also an improvement over the previous space. “We want to have confidentiality for our student conferences, not only for their job aspirations, but for opportunities like the Transylvania Scholarship,” Rayer said.

The center also includes two smaller offices. One is used for assessments like the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator, for mock interviews relating to jobs or scholarships, and for visits by employers. New technology includes a digital camcorder for interviews, an excellent tool for helping students perfect their presentations.

“Many of us have distracting hand gestures and other body language that hurts your interview impression,” Rayer said. “You might be messing with your hair or wringing your hands. When you see this on a recording, you can correct it.”

Rayer hopes to have a graduate intern within the next year or so for the other office. That person would complete a practicum as they critique resumes and help in other areas of career development.

The center is a full-service office that works with students from their first year through graduation and beyond, offering workshops on resumes, interviewing, job search strategies, dining etiquette, networking, and creating a life development plan. Resources include catalogs and directories for graduate and professional schools. The office coordinates internships, shadowships, and an annual career fair.

“As our faculty prepares our students academically, we strive to prepare them professionally for the world of work or to continue their studies,” Rayer said.

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