New class to teach workforce smarts

By Ashley Altus

Students worrying about what to do after graduation can take a new class next semester focusing on professional development.

In the new course titled Professional Development 2101, students will learn about career exploration, internships, resumes, mock interviews and personal statements.

Kevin Nall, the director of employer relations, said the goal of the class is to give students knowledge of the job process so that they are prepared to enter the workforce upon graduation.

Nall will teach the class. “We think the content that we’re offering, every student needs to know,” Nall said.

Fifteen students can register for the class, and students will receive a letter grade for the one-hour credit course. The class is scheduled at 2:30 to 3:20 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Nall said the class will be broken up in three phases — career exploration, skill development and career execution.

“I think we will be able to get them content in the form of skills, exposure to the career center and the services that we have to offer, more information about preparing for a job search and career fair, and even giving them an opportunity to develop the skills to do that successfully,” Nall said.

He said there will also be guest speakers coming into the class from the business world to talk about different career paths, the application process and testing for graduate school.

“For sophomores, it will be directed at internships, how do you find an internship? How do you find a job and what resources do we have available here at Baylor for you to do that?” Nall said.

Round Rock sophomore Michael Castillo-Chavez said he would be interested in taking a class centered on professional development and has attended events put on by the Office of Career and Professional Development.

“I want to start getting a look at how to go about internships in the future.” Castillo said.

Nall said if the class is successful during its first run, there will be plans for future classes suited for all classifications.

“The idea is to build out a career management curriculum that sort of parallels the academic curriculum that students will want to take,” Nall said.

He also said it is hopeful the class will bring about a stronger interest in the recruiting process that is already invested on campus.

“Some workshops we offer don’t have great attendance, so we thought we could take some of that same format, that same information and just put it in the form of a class and we would have a better, more consistent attendance over the course of the semester,” Nall said.

Brett Christenson, a lecturer in the marketing department, already incorporates professional development in his Marketing 3305 class.

“We are trying to do the best that we can to give all of our students the best education they can have and the best advantages they can have,” Christenson said. “I’ve never heard someone regret it,”
Christenson said it is encouraging for the university to recognize the need for professional development events at Baylor.

“It would be really beneficial if there was more practical, real-world examples and exposure before you graduate rather than after, because there are some things that you can’t always get out of the classroom in the most effective and efficient way,” Christenson said.

Nall said this course would not take away any of the Office of Career and Professional Development events already offered, but would instead be an additional resource for students.

“There’s a lot of activity already going on that students can take advantage of, and this class is just another means for us to promote that on campus and prepare students for the job fair,” Nall said.