A review by Pete Barrett '15, Gettysburg College
When I first saw Career Beam, it was a subject line in an email. And I ignored it. In the middle of a week of essays, I could not spend time thinking about my career—I was far too focused on John Milton’s Comus.
I did not take the time to realize that Career Beam is a comprehensive tool that would save me time and improve my productivity in the long run.
As an English major with philosophy and writing minors, I’m often told that college is supposed to be full of self-discovery. Refreshingly, Career Beam allowed me to define myself in a concrete way. That is why the Gettysburg College Center for Career Development (CCD) has made Career Beam a big part of its career advising strategy.
Sitting in The Commons, I was able to assess myself by completing a 10-minute diagnostic tool. Ranking characteristics that I identify with from one to three, the program was able to highlight key themes and recommend careers in which I would excel and be satisfied.
The next day, I was able to meet with Kathy Williams, director of the CCD, to go over my results.
“Because the career counselors have access to the self-assessment and other results, they can be more productive in their conversations and advice to students,” Williams said. With the students’ results in front of them, the counselors are more prepared to offer advice that is unique to the student.
Despite being initially discouraged by not seeing my career passion, sports journalism, on the list of recommended careers, Williams, who had seen my results, assuaged my fear. She added a human element to the Web program and encouraged me to focus more on the themes it identified rather than the specific jobs it suggested. Williams pointed out that creativity and relationship building, for example, which Career Beam suggested I am strong in, are key attributes for any journalist.
My experience with Career Beam validated my career aspirations. And with its resume tutorial, practice interview, and research tools, Career Beam will help me achieve them.
So far, 270 students have taken advantage of Career Beam. Ideally, Williams would like all students to use Career Beam as early in their Gettysburg experience as possible. First-years and sophomores can use the program to shape their decision of a major, so they will enter fields in which they are suited, while juniors and seniors can use Career Beam to assist in the internship and job application process.
“I see the end result being that all students can have a comprehensive career plan in place before they graduate so they are ready to hit the ground running when they make that transition from college to career,” Williams said.
Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition that includes Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate and other distinguished scholars among its alumni. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania
Pete Barrett, communications and marketing intern
Contact: Mike Baker, assistant director of communications, 717.337.6521
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