March 28, 2023
By Rob Humphreys ’16MBA
A dynamic drop-in space overseen by the Center for Career & Life Planning (CCLP), the Career Studio is a one-stop shop where students receive guidance on everything from resumes to job searches.
Staffed by highly trained graduate students and undergraduate career ambassadors, the Center for Career & Life Planning’s Career Studio is a vibrant hub of engineered collisions. Now prominently located at the center of campus in Kathleen W. Rollins Hall alongside nine other programs central to the Rollins mission, the studio connects students to an array of collaborative and targeted advice—whether it’s fine-tuning a resume, preparing for a job interview, polishing networking skills, or any number of related activities.
“The studio is an entryway, a bridge for an array of connections, but it is not the final destination,” says Denisa Metko, director of CCLP. “A student’s visit could easily become the spark to learn more about study abroad, volunteerism, or social entrepreneurship. Vice versa, a conversation at the Social Impact Hub or a visit to the Office of International Student & Scholar Services could encourage students to connect with CCLP about experiential learning and mentorship opportunities.”
When Rollins Hall opened in January 2020, the Career Studio saw a 65 percent increase in participation during its first 40 days of operation. Today, as in-person engagement levels climb back toward pre-pandemic numbers, the studio is primed to help even more students successfully transition from college to career.
Applying a client-centric approach, student leaders serve as supportive pathfinders, sharing resources and opportunities that guide students through the reflection, idea generation, and exploration processes. The peer-to-peer advising model has further influenced the idea that career education is less intimidating and an everyday part of college life.
Acing the Interview
Alysia Rivers-Rodriguez ’21 leveraged the Career Studio to ace an interview with her current employer, Teach for America. “I was even able to find someone who had gone through the same program I was pursuing,” she says. “She gave me specialized advice regarding what the interviewers would be looking for and provided me with an insider’s perspective.”
Themed drop-in hours help student groups engage with organizations and departments across campus to provide targeted resources. This includes Career Fairs and Networking Nights, which feature alumni and recruiters from employer partners like Massey Services, Orlando’s leading pest-control and landscape-services company, and Gartner, a global management consulting firm.
A Personalized Approach
Daniel Kassis ’22, a regular visitor to the Career Studio, worked with peer mentors and CCLP staff to craft unique cover letters for each job application, which helped him land a position as a purchasing coordinator with AA Metals in Orlando. “I’m a very shy person sometimes,” he says, “but in the Career Studio, people always had time for me.”
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