By Hunter Miller
The second floor of Fletcher-Early is arguably one of the most underappreciated places on campus.
“Before I went to the Career and Calling Center, I thought it was just a place for stu- dents to find jobs and internships after college,” said sophomore EmaLeigh Haines, reflecting the beliefs of many other students on campus. Haines is now a student worker at the Center and real- izes that it is more of a place to help students during their whole process from choosing a major to applying for jobs after graduation, and everything in between.
The Career and Calling Center was started over ten years ago and is undergoing many changes, including the process of hiring a new director. Sarah Bellew, the new assistant director, is enthusiastic about meeting students and helping them feel well-prepared while in college, not just afterwards.
“Establishing a relationship with the Career and Calling Center as a freshman will only make it easier and less scary when it is time to move into the final steps of answering the ‘What’s next?’ question,” said Bellew.
Paul Stephens, Associate Dean for Student Leadership Development, agreed and added that his favorite part about working at the Career and Calling Center is “watching students discern and pursue the place where they will head to next fulfill their individual calling.” This ties in perfectly with the Center’s mission statement for the past three years: “Helping students develop effective career decision-making and employment skills reflective of God’s unique calling on their lives.”
The staff members at the Career and Calling Center guide students through offering indi- vidual sessions in goal setting, strength assessments, personality and interest tests, and career exploration. Workshops, presentations, and career fairs are also hosted by the Center. “Plans are in the works for a Spring Fair featuring internships, volunteer opportunities, and summer employment,” said Bellew.
Sandy Anderson, Career Adviser/Program Coordinator, researched the success of last year and reported, “We had 338 unique individual appointments; but with classroom presentations, workshops and online assistance, we served 966.” Anderson pointed out that “career readiness is a four-year process.”
She explained that one of the greatest misconceptions of the Career and Calling Center is that they only exist to find stu- dents jobs. Although that is definitely part of what they do, “[their] mission is to serve students over their entire time at Asbury – from freshman to senior year…we can provide assistance for each step of the way.”
The process looks different for each student, but you can never start too early. The Center is both for students who have no clue what they want to do and students who are dead-set on their own plan for their lives after college. For those who are certain of what comes next, they can work on their employment and networking skills at the Center.
One of the most beneficial ways to discern a possible career path is to do an internship. Ste- phens highly recommends utilizing the Center’s resources and getting involved in some intern- ships during the semester or the summer. You can never be fully prepared in the classroom. An internship gives you unique and practical field experience that will help you in deciding where to go next.
“I think a Career and Calling office is vital to [the] campus. We exist to help integrate the edu- cation and experiences of students and prepare them for their future step of career or graduate school,” said Anderson, in summing up why this Center is useful for students. The Career and Calling Center staff would love to get to know you and assist you in learning more about yourself and the gifts that God has given you. It is their job, and their joy, to help you during your time at Asbury.