Career Development helps students prepare to enter the ‘real world’

Signs outside of Tucker encourage students to participate in the graduation preparation week events. Photo by: Elizabeth Banfield

By: Travis Archie

After college ends, the “real world” begins. Not only must alumni find a place of employment, they must also figure out new living arrangements, how to pay bills and sometimes develop a new social circle. This week, Feb. 22-26, the Career Development office has been hosting its annual Destination: Real World Prep Week.

This program was designed about four years ago to help students transition to life outside of Gardner-Webb easily.

“We market this program for all students, because it is never too early to start thinking about your life after college,” said assistant director of Career Development, Erin Cook.

Micah Martin, director of student leadership development and community engagement, talks to seniors at the real world prep fair on Tuesday Feb. 23 about service in the real world. Photo by: Elizabeth Banfield

Micah Martin, director of student leadership development and community engagement, talks to seniors at the real world prep fair on Tuesday Feb. 23 about service in the real world.
Photo by: Elizabeth Banfield

The program has a different setting each day. For example, there was a panel of Gardner-Webb alumni that talked about their lives after college; including their different career paths and living on their own.

Tuesday afternoon, there was a career fair at Hope Hall in Tucker, that had over 20 local business employers. Students also had the chance to learn “proper dinning etiquette and proper attire while eating with employers,” at the Professional Image Dinner, according to Cook.

Thursday, Feb. 25 will be two workshops – College Loan Repayment presented by Wells Fargo, and personal budgeting that will show students how to work with a small budget.

The week ends on Friday, Feb. 26 with a workshop titled “How to Search for Jobs.”

The program has evolved over the past four years. It has taken advice from employers and students to make it more informative.

Senior Carlo Jimenez talks to a Jostens representative about class rings. Photo by: Elizabeth Banfield

Senior Carlo Jimenez talks to a Jostens representative about class rings.
Photo by: Elizabeth Banfield

New perks – such as massage chairs, scavenger hunts and prizes – have also been added to give the event a more relaxed atmosphere.

The Career Development staff hopes that through this series of events, there will be a strong student attendance so that when the time comes to enter into the real world, Gardner-Webb graduates will be ready to grasp great opportunities.

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