On Thursday, Jan. 23, CHASS Senator Angel Cuevas and the Career Center hosted a workshop called “Presenting Yourself in the Best Light,” which focused on preparing students for professional life. The workshop included advice on resume building from the Career Center as well as free headshots by John-Paul Wolf Photography. The event was held in HUB 302.
The Highlander briefly spoke with Cuevas. The workshop was Cuevas’ first project. Cuevas stated that he ran on the platform of increased professional development among the student body. When asked about what inspired the structure of the workshop he explained, “I’ve been in professional organizations, who do this basically daily, so it’s not a challenge for me to copy what they already do.” A goal of the workshop was to blend in a professional and social atmosphere, similar to other professional organizations on campus.
The workshop began similarly to a normal Career Center workshop with a presentation on resume building by Isabel Ibarra, a peer advisor with the Career Center. The presentation included the following topics: how to structure a resume, what to add to it and how to utilize LinkedIn.
After the presentation, students were encouraged to discuss and network among themselves so that they could review and improve their resumes. Students were also able to receive a free headshot or to have a question-and-answer session with Kimberly Rose Campen, a CHASS college and career specialist.
After her speech, The Highlander spoke with Ibarra, who mentioned the lack of student awareness of the Career Center’s resources. She mentioned that normal resume building workshops only include a PowerPoint presentation about the topic. She noted that being able to talk to a student about their resume was helpful in decreasing anxiety in people seeking help with their resume.
Ibarra mentioned that many students were scared of visiting the Career Center because of concerns with the quality of their resumes. She stated, “Breaking down those barriers and misconceptions is the first step to getting students to come more to the Career Center.” Ibarra added that she believes that collaborations with ASUCR would help to attract more students to these workshop events than if they were hosted at the Career Center.
Increased professional awareness among students was also a goal for Cuevas, especially among first and second-year students. “A lot of students don’t realize that they are missing opportunities as a freshman by not focusing on their professional development,” stated Cuevas. He noted that many students begin looking for resume-boosting opportunities in their third and fourth years instead of earlier.
The majority of the students in attendance at the workshop were fourth years, with only one first-year student in attendance. Thomas Chartrand, a fourth-year political science student, was one of these fourth years in attendance at the workshop. He echoed Cuevas’ opinion stating that “most first and second years don’t have their careers in mind until their third and fourth year, but a lot of jobs today require you to have started early in your college career.” Chartrand, who also works at the Residence Center at UCR, noted that they had trouble bringing the Career Center to the dorms to table, which could potentially increase awareness to freshmen about the resources they offer.
Cuevas said that he liked the outcome of the workshop and hopes for more of these collaborative workshops in the future, with the potential goal of providing free food in order to boost attendance.