Closing the gap between employer & student perceptions

I usually don’t find USA Today a resource for my blog, but this story makes sense: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/10/31/more-than-a-college-degree/3324303/?sf19224859=1

…For Amy Homkes-Hayes, coordinator for the Career Center at the University of Michigan, bridging the gap between employer and student perceptions requires all parties to come together to help the student in the rapidly changing career market.” I don’t think there is one single ‘best’ way to bridge the gap,” she says. “Rather, I would argue employers, career centers and academic units need to collaborate in multiple ways to prepare students for an increasingly complex working world.” 

Absolutely true and there are too few models in our higher education system where this integration of campus resources is taking place and is fully supported on both the student affairs and academic side of the administration.

In particular, there needs to be more in-service/in-house cross-training so that staff with international experience – as in the international office- are brought together with the career service team to share their experience with students returning from study-work-service or internships abroad.  And let the career team share their experience working directly with employers looking for talent with specific kinds of experience and competencies which students do have if they’ve been abroad [but may not know how to showcase it on their resumes or articulate during their job interviews].

Each office brings unique and important perspectives from their work on campus – and there needs to be a purposeful effort to harmonize their professional expertise to benefit students and also engage & inform faculty about the impact of international experience on student career development.

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