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Hello, Bobcat parent and family members of first-year students,

In the Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship (Jabs), we take professional development education seriously. We frequently hear from employers that job-related skills give candidates a competitive advantage.

When I use the word "professionalism," I'm aware it's a little fuzzy, meaning different things to different people. For your Jabs student, professionalism starts with their ability to prepare a polished resume and cover letter that can be revised for each job/internship. And their interview skills are just as important. We support students in these critical areas by giving them time to practice these skills in a low-stakes environment.

The Jabs Bracken Center supplements in-class experiences through internship and job opportunities, professional development, academic engagement, student organizations, business communications assistance and more. The Bracken Center staff are the team behind the Meet the Business Recruiters event I talked about in my last email.

If your student hasn't reached out to Mariah Stopplecamp in the Bracken Center yet, please encourage them to do so. She can connect them with internship opportunities for next summer.

We also teach this content through coursework, which we initially offered as a junior-level course, BGEN 302-Career Perspectives. The feedback from students was, "Great course, but too late. I already bombed an internship interview." We took that feedback to heart and made the course available during the spring term for first-year students. That's right; your student might be enrolled in BGEN 215-Career Readiness & Professional Development right now! If they're not already, please encourage them to enroll in the course for next fall.

The BGEN 215 course has been revised, expanded, and is now designed to guide students through the development of an action plan for their academic and career goals. Through self-assessment, research and analysis, students create a roadmap for their academic and professional careers. Coursework assignments include creating a resume and cover letter, visiting with professionals in the students' prospective career fields and envisioning a sustainable financial budget for life after college.

I champion the Career Readiness & Professional Development course because it gives students the time and space to hone new skills and envision career pathways for themselves. With the future in mind, your student can begin to see where gaps in their knowledge and skills may be and then make plans to address them.

In my final email in this series next month, I'll share more about our commitment to inviting student feedback and using it to improve their learning experiences within the College. We have some exciting things planned for Fall 2022. Stay tuned!



Brenda Truman
Assistant Dean of Student Services & Retention


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