Career Center opens doors for students

Baylor's Career Center is dedicated to helping, training and guiding students to success during and after their undergraduate education. Olivia Martin | Photo Editor

By Ana Ruiz Brictson | Staff Writer

Within Baylor’s goals, top-tier academics is one that has been made so that students can be successful after college. The Career Center dedicates itself to helping, training and guiding students to a professional environment during and after their undergraduate years.

“We help by identifying what employers offer internships and what kind of students they’re looking for,” Shelby Cefaratti-Bertin, marketing communications coordinator at the Career Center, said.

Cefaratti said in 2021, there have been 5,810 appointments set up by students. She also said one of the best parts about students setting up regular appointments is that they get to know the career success professional (CSP) who is assigned as their career coach. She also said CSPs may think of specific students they have gotten to know for job openings or internship opportunities.

Cefaratti said the Career Center helps students look through Handshake — a platform that launched in 2014 and serves as a career network for college students and young alumni. She said the Career Center helps primarily with searching for paid internships through this source.

According to Cefaratti, one thing that was exciting for the Career Center was to see that its placement rate went up by 4% between 2019 and the spring of 2020 when jobs were shutting down due to COVID-19. She said the Career Center worked hard along with students to make this happen.

With the pandemic continuing through 2021, the Career Center was able to raise its placement rate to 86%, compared to its previous rate of 79%. Cefaratti said its knowledge rate is 99%, making the statistics incredibly accurate.

Gabe Jensen, Alma, Ala., sophomore and student worker at the Career Center, said the Career Center has multiple levels that cross different factors of student engagement for career success.

“We have resume building, mock interviews [and] networking connections, which students don’t understand is a huge part of the game,” Jensen said.

One thing Jensen said he was most familiar with was the data analytical aspect of the Career Center, through which it brings in data from school surveys, reports and job placements so that it can inform professionals on where they need to go from there.

Jensen said there will always be someone who is willing to help out within less than a week of contacting the Career Center.

“It’s not hard meeting with somebody, and the best thing about it is that everyone here is so willing to work with you,” Jensen said.

Jacobi Reynolds, Henrietta senior and student worker at the Career Center, said the most valuable tool it offers is its staff.

“You’re really getting someone who knows what they’re doing a little better than you, and they can really be helpful in guiding your experience,” Reynolds said. “So from the time you’re a freshman to senior, you can use them to really organize the path of what you need to do to get to a successful point.”

Reynolds said the main purpose of the career fairs organized by the Career Center is to get students connected with employers who may be offering internships or part-time/full-time jobs. She also said the Career Center sends out newsletters for specific majors, notifying students of opportunities they can take advantage of.

“Don’t be afraid to be honest with yourself and know that you probably do need help,” Reynolds said. “I would say all students can benefit from the Career Center, and the earlier on you take that help and you come and meet with these people, the only thing that is going to do is help you.”

For international students, the Career Center plays a different role. According to Amy Ames, assistant director for the Career Center, it is very involved with the Center for Global Engagement to stay informed about visa approvals and sponsorships and to be able to assist international students in any way possible. Students who fit this category would also be encouraged to stay in contact with the global department to know when and where they are permitted to work.

“Any and all students, make an appointment,” Cefaratti said. “That’s the most important thing. We know that when students come to meet with us, they have a better chance of success … You can email us. We are always here to help.”