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Piper Careers Start at the Career Development Center

Before Minnesota’s Stay Home Order forced the Career Development Center into a remote working situation, the staff met in-person with students to help them achieve their employment ambitions. The relationships between students and staff often span years and involve all aspects of career search.

“The staff members at the CDC have helped me through every step of starting my professional career,” said Hamline School of Business senior Alexandra Pick who will start a job as a Risk Associate with Wells Fargo after graduating.

“I have been working with Mara Stommes since January of 2019,” said senior Alisha Bowen who recently started a job in the housing unit of Minnesota Legal Aid. "She helped me with interviewing skills and with my cover letter and she helped me understand how to present myself to future employers." 

Kobey Layne Cofer, a graduating senior who will pursue a master's degree at the University of Minnesota Humphrey School, said, “In 2018, I went into the CDC for the first time and Ayn Rassier recommended that I apply for a summer program called Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Junior Summer Institute (JSI) through the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.” That experience was part of Cofer’s scholarship and acceptance to the prestigious graduate program.

Junior Ashley Robinson, who secured a high-profile undergraduate research internship, echoed Cofer and Pick in praising the work of CDC staff members, mentioning the valuable attention to detail they provided.

“Mara (Stommes) assisted me in formatting, phrasing and updating my CV. When it came time for the application process, she provided valuable insight and advice in creating an impactful personal statement,” said Robinson.

The CDC counselor’s offer assistance throughout the employment process.

“When I was given my first job offer, Masha (Finn) walked me through each line of my offer letter to make sure I understood all the terms. This ultimately led me to accept my fulltime position,” said Pick.

“Mara was really great. She helped me every step of the way,” said Bowen. “She made me understand that it’s okay to negotiate a higher salary and know my worth.”

Career Counselor Masha Finn wants students to know that the one-on-one services are still being offered virtually and that the office is open throughout the summer. Students can schedule appointments through Handshake or by calling the CDC office at 651.523.5802.

“We know that this is a difficult and uncertain time for many students. Those who are looking forward to internships and opportunities this summer, and those who are graduating into an uncertain job market can contact us for assistance,” said Finn.

In fact, the CDC has expanded its services to include online Tuesday chats on highly relevant topics. On May 5, they covered “Who’s Hiring? What’s Changing?” On May 12, the topic is “Video/Phone Interviewing during COVID-19.” And, on May 17 the group will tackle “The Best Job/Internship Search Tools.”

The staff of the CDC also created a COVID-19 specific resource page for students and job seekers that includes internship information, job boards and unemployment resources.

The emerging job market is chaotic and changing, like almost everything; however, students should keep networking, researching and applying for the positions they want.

“Continue to apply for jobs, internships, and graduate programs. Just be mindful that deadlines may change, employers may be delaying their job or internship hiring due to the national emergency, and graduate school admissions requirements may be changing,” said Finn.

As always, staff members are available to help students find jobs before and after graduation. Their services have moved online but they continue to offer one-on-one custom career assistance for all Pipers for three years after graduation.

“Please stay in touch with our office,” said Finn. “We’d be happy to talk with you through these changes and help you navigate them. We are gathering information as things evolve and we are here for you.”

“The CDC is a great resource for students and for me. I honestly wouldn’t have gotten my new job right now if it wasn’t for them,” said Bowen.


Written by staff
Photos courtesy of Sophie Warrick, Alisha Bowen, Kobey Layne Cofer and Ashley Robinson

5/5/2020