Career advice boosted

Vivian Chen Liyi, Staff Writer

Pitt-Johnstown Career Service administrators are expanding their resources with new books and magazines available in the office library.

Career Services Director Renee Patchin started her position in Pitt-Johnstown last December.

“I like it (Johnstown) a lot,” she said.  “It’s a small, nice community and everyone knows everyone else.

Patchin had worked at career services offices for more than 12 years at different universities such as the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

“My experiences are pretty varied.  I worked for freshman all the way through graduate (levels).  I came up here to build the program even more.” said Patchin.

There were two staff members last semester.  This semester there are two full-time and two part-time staff.  Judi McGuirk, transferred from the Admissions Office.

Office administrators are looking to have career counselors serve a target population with Allison Austin for Social Sciences and Humanities, Kara Borsa for Education, Nursing and Health Sciences and Judi McGuirk for Engineering Technology and Natural Sciences.  Renee Patchin is to counsel for all majors.

“Because the career counselors are becoming the experts of those recruiters and the jobs and the internships that are associated with the academic major, you always know who you are coming back to and you don’t need to see a new person,” said Patchin.

Besides the staff changes, a new computer Job and Internship Database System named “Symplicity” will be available Feb. 1.

Students can log in to the system and upload resumes and cover letters.  Recruiters can also log in to the system and look at resumes.

“Within Symplicity, I’m going to have other links and they are posted for shortcuts and quick-links for other internship databases and other job databases. We are like a one-shop stop to look for a job,” said Patchin.

Automatic review and feedback is available for first-time resume uploading.

“The good thing is when you upload your resume; I will look at it and make sure it is OK.  I will give you feedback on the documents, but, after that, when you upload it, it’s whatever document you use for your resume.

“We can look at it as many times as you want us to.  If you edit it and you want us to look at it, that’s fine,” said Patchin.

The system especially will be helpful for senior business majors.

Patchin said the Symplicity system allows her to collect resumes from specific majors and present them to a recruiter.

Patchin said she encourages freshmen to consider internships.

They should do an internship to try that work and to try a career to see if they like it, if it is what they are thinking about.

“If they thought it was something and it really isn’t the reality, they need to know that early on so they can change their majors for the next year,” said Patchin.

For students who show hesitation on their career goals, career assessments are available.

“They are not tests; they are surveys that help students identify their interests.

Patchin also said students should utilize Pitt alumni to explore careers.

“Go see a Pitt alumnus, because you don’t know much about it and you need to talk to a professional.  The first thing you need to know is to get the networking underway.”

“I think a lot of students, especially seniors need to realize that they need to go out, to be in public, they need to network, they need to talk to people and be able to articulate what their genuine career goals are.

Career Service Office workers are also providing more workshops and outreach programs to students.

“You will see us in the academic buildings with the information table because, if the students don’t have time during the day to see us, we will go and see them.

So you are going to see that more.  Then we have the career fairs; like workshops coming up, too.

“We really want students to pay attention to these workshops and come to them because it is easier to discuss in a group and hear more voice, than an individual appointments; but we love individual appointments, too,” said Patchin.

Patchin said students should make an appointment before they visit the Career Services Office. They can either stop by the office, e-mail or make a telephone call in advance.

Career service administrators are to send out an e-mail about Symplicity, the new system, to students on Feb. 1.