Because employers are increasingly demanding the skills learned through a liberal arts education, Bryant University’s College of Arts and Sciences and Amica Center for Career Education have established a unique partnership. By working together, they help students find new opportunities and connect them to an invaluable network that leads to great careers.
“We help students build a strategy for their job search and for finding internships,” says Veronica Mansour, Associate Director of Career Services for Bryant’s Amica Center for Career Education. “There are so many opportunities to do research, to hold informational interviews and to network with employers and alumni. That relationship development and good solid research is the most important way, especially for Arts and Sciences majors, to find internships, jobs, and careers that fit.”
The Amica Center supports that search in a variety of ways, beyond career fairs, practice interviews, and resume review sessions. It also hosts informational panels and presentations for Arts and Sciences-related fields, organizes networking trips, and holds workshops that help College of Arts and Sciences students understand the internship and job search processes and equip them with strategies that lead to career success.
"Make sure you’re looking for jobs that challenge you and that you want to do. You’ll find them.”
A key to making the job search process easier, says Mansour, is one-on-one guidance. “Individual career coaching is one of the most important things a student can take advantage of, especially early in their academic career,” she says. “Coaches help students to match their skills, their interests, and their values with internship or jobs.”
A powerful model
“Our Arts and Sciences students can do anything,” says Bradford Martin, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “They have the skills to succeed in a variety of different interdisciplinary fields.”
He points to Bryant’s Mentor Match program, which connects College of Arts and Sciences students with faculty who have experience in fields they’d like to explore, as a “very powerful model,” one that highlights the interplay of academic learning and career preparation. “One of the best things we can do to prepare students,” he says, “is to introduce them to people with a wide range of experiences, to show them their options.”
Martin also says that the bonds Arts and Sciences students develop with their professors is an advantage as they begin to build their careers. “Our faculty care about their students’ career paths and are really invested in what they’re going to do after graduation. They’re eager to assist, mentor, and guide them however they can.”
Grace Farrell ’18, a Communication and Media Studies major, recently accepted a position as a mid-size enterprise account manager with research and advisory firm Gartner. The connections she made through Bryant, she says, helped her find a great job she’s truly excited about.
“Our faculty care about their students’ career paths and are really invested in what they’re going to do after graduation.”
Farrell worked closely with Patricia Miernicki, the Amica Center’s Assistant Director of Employer Outreach and Development, in her job search, discussing potential career options, job opportunities, and strategies.
She first learned about Gartner at a Bryant career fair, where Farrell connected with alumna Taylor Water ’17, who was there representing the firm. “I never thought I’d be working in the information technology sector,” she says, “but in talking with Taylor I became more and more excited about the possibility.”
The skills Farrell learned from mentors like Associate Professor of Communication Kristen Berkos, Ph.D., she says, helped her prepare for her career and demonstrate her value throughout a lengthy interview process. “I’ve developed strong writing skills, great presentation skills, and interpersonal ‘soft’ skills,” she says.
Farrell’s advice to College of Arts and Sciences majors starting their careers is to “make sure you’re looking for jobs that challenge you and that you want to do. You’ll find them.”