UT Martin students to benefit from new Office of Career Planning and Development
Contact 1: Erin Chesnut
MARTIN, Tenn. – The Office of Career Planning and Development at the University of Tennessee at Martin opened its doors in early November, bringing with it a multitude of student benefits. Located in room 210 of the Boling University Center, the office is prepared to help incoming UT Martin students develop four-year career action plans, encourage current students to gain professional skills and provide continued services to UT Martin alumni.
“We help students develop a plan. It’s their plan, they implement it, they work it, and we support them in that process,” said Mark McCloud, director of career planning and development. The goal of the four-year plan is to help students identify their professional goals and develop a career path they can then articulate to employers.
Students will work one-on-one with career counselors as freshmen to identify their interests, personality traits and skills in order to discover potential careers. Students can later organize informational interviews with current professionals to gain a realistic viewpoint of the day-to-day tasks each position requires. These interviews will allow each student to narrow his or her focus toward a chosen profession or shift to a more suitable field.
Students will begin engaging with potential employers through informational interviews during the freshman year, followed by job shadowing opportunities during the sophomore year. Office staff will help students prepare for and pursue these opportunities in order to gain a better understanding of possible career paths and professional expectations. Students should then be prepared to pursue internship opportunities during the junior year.
“By connecting students to employers through informational interviews, job shadowing and internships, we hope to develop a pipeline of full-time candidates for regional employers,” said Katie Mantooth, assistant director of career planning and development.
The office hosts a variety of professional development sessions for students, including resume and cover-letter writing, interview strategies and salary negotiation. These sessions help students develop key skills not always included in their course curriculum.
Students already have an opportunity to network with current professionals during the fall and spring career fairs and can schedule mock interviews to prepare for both employment and graduate school. Staff members with the UT Martin Office of Career Planning and Development plan to utilize their connections with local business professionals and bring them in to conduct interviews for students considering related careers. Postings of available full-time and part-time jobs, as well as internship opportunities, will also be available through Handshake, a digital career management system.
The UT Martin Office of Career Planning and Development, requested by students through the UT Martin Student Government Association, is funded by the Soar in Four program, which encourages students to graduate in four years.
Whether a student is struggling to find a professional calling or preparing for an ultimate career goal, the UT Martin Office of Career Planning and Development has something for every student. Students can begin their journey by attending a professional development session or calling 731-881-7712 to schedule an appointment with a career counselor.
PHOTO ID: The University of Tennessee at Martin’s Office of Career Planning and Development will provide students an additional opportunity to network with area businesses and secure internships in their respective fields. Kamryn Gitchell, a junior from Ripley, is shown working with animal vaccines during her internship work with NEOTECH, LLC in Dresden.