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People enroll at Pickens Technical College because they want to take that next step in their careers. They want to start a new career the right way. They want to advance quickly and take advantage of the opportunities in front of them. Not only is all instruction and classwork at PTC designed to help students like you translate skills into workable abilities, but the PTC’s career advisors are also here to help you fill in the cracks of your education and help you develop job-finding skills.

In case you haven’t figured it out already, finding work is hard work. The skills necessary to do the job you’re applying for are of course the most important, but seeking out employers and jobs, writing your resume and cover letters, and interviewing for that dream job are all skills in themselves, too. That’s where Career Advisors like Raechel Anderson and Jenise Rosa come in.

At the Career Services office, you can find all kinds of resources designed to connect you with prospective employers who are always looking for skilled PTC students to contribute to their companies.

I asked Anderson and Rosa about their experiences as Career Advisors and how they help students start careers after they graduate. Below are my questions and their responses:

What are students most apprehensive about when looking for a job?

Anderson: “Finding a company that is the right fit and offers enough pay to be able to support themselves in Colorado’s expensive housing market.”

Rosa: “I think it’s the fear of the unknown and just giving themselves permission to be confident in who they are. After spending so much time drafting their skills it’s now time for them to be confident in applying those skills while still sending the message that they are excited and willing to continue learning!”

What is the one piece of advice you wish you got before your first job interview?

Anderson: “How to stay calm when being interviewed, because it can be a nerve-racking experience.”

Rosa: “The importance of being proud of “your story” – meaning that many people have skills and the proper training but more often than not companies are hiring the whole person not just their training. They want to know why you care, why you want that job, what you’ve been through that makes you persevere and push through those most challenging obstacles.”

What are some common concerns that PTC students raise when looking for a job?

Anderson: “Are there jobs in the area they want to live, will employers believe they are qualified enough, and again the pay.”

Rosa: “Because of our beautifully diverse population for many of our students English is their second language and that can be intimidating when going into interviews. In those situations, practice is critical to allow students to feel comfortable in their answers.”

How many students come are you looking for job interview advice and what are some of the things you tell them?

Anderson: “The numbers vary. I provide them with a list of the most asked questions so they can practice, I talk to them about calming techniques, not saying “um” and that it’s okay to pause, how to dress, to show up 15 minutes early, and how to properly answer questions.”

Rosa: “All of our students are looking for employment in varying levels – I encourage them to be confident, be proud of who they are/ where they’ve come from/ what they’ve been through / and the skills they’ve developed. I also stress the importance of being sure they can “back up” their resume with very specific examples to elaborate on their experiences and goals.”

If you’re nervous about your interview or you don’t know where to start, the Career Advisors team is here for you. Stop by and ask them questions!