The Bryant University Career Jump Start, a one-day seminar organized by the University’s nationally recognized Amica Center for Career Education, introduced students to the core elements of career development and gave them an opportunity to put the lessons they learned into practice.
“We’re always impressed with Bryant students’ abilities and aspirations,” says Amica Center Career Coach Liam Hillery. “Our goal was to provide them with the tools and confidence to put themselves out there and begin preparing for their dream careers in earnest.”
For Cianni Thomas ’23, an International Business major concentrating in Human Resource Management, Jump Start was eye-opening. “As a sophomore, there’s so many things about the process that are still new to us.” she says. “Jump Start taught me about things that I didn’t even realize I needed to know.”
“It’s always worth your time to visit Amica. I always come out from a visit with something new to think about or an idea about how to improve my job search.”
A wide range of resources
The virtual event, held in August just before classes began, was attended by Bryant students from across the country and around the world. Undergraduates from both the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Business learned about everything from job-hunting skills and strategies to how to figure out what kind of job would be right for them.
It was also a reminder of all of the resources the Amica Center makes available to students, including resume workshops, networking events, interview coaching sessions, career and Internship fairs, and one-on-one consultations with Amica’s dedicated staff.
“It’s always worth your time to visit Amica,” notes Arosh Noor ’21, an Actuarial Mathematics and Communication double major who attended Jump Start from her home in Bangladesh. “I always come out from a visit with something new to think about or an idea about how to improve my job search.”
“It’s important that you think about those things, so you can find a job where you won’t just make money but you’ll be happy as well. You have to take into consideration what YOU want to do."
The day began with breakout sessions covering essential elements such as networking, résumé writing, interviewing, and making the most of resources such as LinkedIn. “It was a good way for me start the semester, especially as a junior, because it helped to reinforce a lot of the things that we’ve been learning about building your career,” Noor says.
In addition to providing information about the mechanics of career exploration, the Amica staff helped the students understand themselves a little bit better through sessions centered on exploring their values, interests, and skills. “It’s important that you think about those things, so you can find a job where you won’t just make money but you’ll be happy as well,” says Thomas, who notes that Amica staff have helped her consider not only her future career plans but also her current course of study. “You have to take into consideration what YOU want to do,” she points out.
Jump Start also drew upon the immense resources of the Bryant community. Professors of Marketing Stefanie Boyer and Keith Murray provided career advice and resume tips. Christina Frugale, Assistant Director for Student Leadership Development, discussed how to develop your leadership potential with the students. Jess Raffaele, Director of Student Events and Orientation Programs, shared ways to discover your strengths, and Lily Otu, Assistant AD for Inclusive Excellence, spoke about finding an employer that shares your values.
“I really appreciated that they had so many different panelists who came in to talk to us. They all gave us different insights into what’s going on, what to think about, and what to expect in the future,” says Thomas.
“Sometimes, it seems like there’s a lot of smoke and mirrors regarding starting your career. It’s nice to have a places like Jump Start and Amica where it’s ok to ask questions about the things you don’t know about.”
Real experience, real advice
The day concluded with a networking event. Representatives from The Hartford, TekSystems, Travelers Insurance, and Enterprise talked with Jump Start participants and answered their questions. Thomas was impressed with how willing they were to talk with the students about topics ranging from internships to job opportunities for recent college graduates to inquiries about diversity. “Even though the networking was virtual, it gave us real experience,” she says.
“It was a good reminder that recruiters are people, just like us,” agrees Noor. “I think that we, as students, have a tendency to see them as sort of intimidating, but after talking with them, you realize they’re really not.”
In some ways, she reflects, that was the theme of the day. “Sometimes, it seems like there’s a lot of smoke and mirrors regarding starting your career. It’s nice to have a place like Jump Start and Amica where it’s ok to ask questions about the things you don’t know about.”
It all comes down to confidence, says Hillery. “We hope that all of the students left Jump Start with the confidence they need to put themselves out there and take advantage of the opportunities open to them.”
For her part, Thomas is excited to get started. “I’d recommend the Start to anyone,” she says. “It was a great experience.”