Frequently Asked Questions
Along with academic training, another important aspect of your education is hands-on career development. It is our mission to assist you with these career-building opportunities. Therefore, the Office of Career Placement offers a wide range of services for students including:
- referrals to cooperative education opportunities;
- part-time, temporary and summer employment referral program;
- career fair events;
- internet resources; and
- assistance with job search strategies for graduates.
We hope that you will take a few moments to review the services we offer to Volunteer State Community College students. If you have questions, or would like to visit us, we are located in the Annex 100 Building, Room 102.
- What does the Office of Career Placement and Cooperative Education have to offer?
The Office of Career Placement and Cooperative Education offers a wide range of services for students including referrals to cooperative education opportunities; part-time, temporary and summer employment referral program; career fair events; internet resources; and assistance with job search strategies for graduates.
- When should I start visiting the Office of Career Placement and Cooperative Education?
The Office of Career Placement and Cooperative Education welcomes students from their first days on campus. Even though the first few months of college can be quite busy and Career Placement is not the first office students think to visit, students seeking part-time positions will need to register with the office as soon as possible.
- I am confused about what I should major in, where can I go to receive assistance?
The Testing Center is actually a separate office. Students who have not yet declared an academic major or who have second thoughts about the one they have initially chosen should schedule an appointment for interest testing and/or follow-up activities. Students may also consider registering for Career Planning, a one-credit-hour course that addresses these same issues.
- Should I work while I’m in school?
A part-time job is an excellent way for students to build their resume and work on their transferable skills, such as organization, communication, time-management, and leadership.
- Is a part-time job like a cooperative work experience and how important is it?
Part-time jobs and co-ops do vary in some ways. Typically, part-time jobs include positions such as wait staff, administrative help and retail sales. Both part-time jobs and co-ops are ways that work experience can be obtained, although a co-op typically offers a student experience that is more closely related to full-time jobs after graduation.
In addition, co-ops tend to be much more structured, include more supervision and training, and are designed specifically for college students. With their structured professional environment, co-ops assist students in determining if they want to continue long term in that field. In some cases a full-time job offer may be extended after completing a cooperative work experience.
Remember both part-time employment and cooperative work experiences can provide valuable learning experiences. They both allow students to gauge their interest in a particular field. In addition they offer opportunities to build transferable skills. A student who has gained related work experience is going to be much more marketable and valuable to employers, compared to those students who have not gained related work experience. Participating in a co-op or finding a part-time related job will benefit you as you prepare to graduate and seek full-time employment.
- When is the best time to look for a cooperative work experience?
Students must be 70 percent complete with their degree program in order to complete a cooperative work experience. The co-op search is a process that requires pre-planning on the part of the student.
- How can I meet potential employers for full-time job opportunities?
There are many ways that students can meet potential employers. The Office of Career Placement and Cooperative Education holds two career fairs each year: a Fall Job Career Fair and a Spring Job Career Fair. In addition to the career fairs, the office hosts a career week during the spring semester, and a number of employers participate in on-campus recruiting. Students are encouraged to view the on-campus recruiting schedule. All full-time jobs received by the Office of Career Placement and Cooperative Education are listed for students to view on the Job Listings link.
- What do employers look for in potential employees?
Employers look for employees that have a number of skills. The most important skills are communication (verbal and written), honesty/integrity, teamwork, interpersonal, and motivation/initiative. In addition, they look at the student’s academic background (major and GPA), appearance, their comfort level during the interview and their previous experiences (part-time job/co-op).