Students put lessons to the test as they hone their career skills
Indiana University East criminal justice majors recently had a networking breakfast with community and law enforcement leaders to practice the skills they have learned throughout this semester.
The course, Job Search Strategies for Liberal Arts Students, is instructed by Katie Chaney, School of Humanities and Social Sciences academic and career advising coordinator.
Chaney said the seven-week, one credit course is designed to help juniors and seniors in liberal arts programs create effective strategies for post-graduation success. Students go over topics including resume and cover letter writing, interviewing and impressing, networking and financial literacy.
“The culminating experience is a networking brunch with area professionals. The goal of this brunch is to bring students together with individuals who are currently working in their field of interest and to allow the opportunity for them to practice the skills gained during the course,” Chaney said. “This is the third time I have hosted a networking brunch for the course, but it was the first time I had exclusively criminal justice majors in the course.”
Eight students attended the breakfast and were divided among tables to talk with Wayne County Sheriff Jeff Cappa, Chief Probation Officer for Wayne County Kory George, Assistant Chief Probation Officer for Wayne County Adam McQueen, and Richmond Police Department Officer Chad Porfidio. Cappa and McQueen are both IU East alumni.
“I enjoyed speaking with the students and answering their questions. I feel it is beneficial for a student to have an opportunity to talk with someone who has experience in the profession they are considering. I found all their questions to be extremely insightful and their eagerness to learn very satisfying,” Cappa said.
George said it was a pleasure to sit and visit with IU East students as they prepare for their next phase of life.
“The desire and ability to apply their IU East education was evident as was their genuine interest in doing good work in our communities. I’m hopeful they will continue to pursue their passion and put their education to good use for those in the community we serve,” George said.
McQueen completed the Master of Science in Management in 2013 at IU East. He is a member of the program’s first graduating cohort.
“We, as a community, should want to do anything that we can to keep our IU East students in Wayne County and the surrounding areas. Events, such as today’s network brunch, aid that effort,” McQueen said.
Students also had the opportunity to talk with IU East’s Career and Experiential Learning Coordinator Liz Ferris and Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Stephanie Whitehead to gain more experience.
Tim Gard is a senior criminal justice major. He plans to graduate in May 2016. He said the brunch was a great idea and the event went well.
“It was definitely eye opening to see how different each job within the criminal justice field really is,” Gard said. “Overall, I’d say that this whole class was a success. I never really knew how to write a resume or cover letter, and I was never sure how to answer some of the more popular interview questions, but this class has definitely made me better prepared for those situations.”
Christina Perkins is also a member of the Class of 2016 and a criminal justice major. She said the combination of the course lessons and the networking brunch provided valuable information.
“I learned some of the common misconceptions in applying for jobs and simple steps that can be taken to stand out. The networking brunch is essential and offers so many opportunities that would otherwise not be available,” Perkins said.