How Career Positioning Helps You Launch Into Your Chosen Field

It’s about understanding what employers are looking for and presenting yourself in a way that resonates.

Graduates need jobs. Employers need to hire workers. It sounds so simple, doesn’t it?

And yet, across the country, thousands of graduates are frustrated by the job market each year, failing to secure a position in their desired field, despite years of education and significant investment. These students lack the tools and skills to differentiate themselves in a crowded field of candidates.

At Champlain College, we do things differently. We train our students how to navigate the job market, present their credentials in the most compelling way, and communicate the value they offer potential employers. We call this process “career positioning.” It means that, come graduation day, Champlain students are ready to successfully launch into their chosen field.

Dr. Scott Baker, Dean of the Stiller School of Business, and Dr. Tanja Hinterstoisser, Director of Career Education & Employer Relations, prep students for a presentation to Samsung Electronics America.

Career positioning is a more expansive, holistic, and effective approach to career-readiness than the traditional “career development” practiced at other colleges. It’s about understanding what employers are looking for, and training students to present themselves in a way that resonates. It helps students focus on the employer’s needs, so they can rise to the top of the candidate pool.

What are your marketable skills? What makes you the most qualified individual for a particular position? What makes you unique? We push our students to self-reflect and articulate the value they offer to hiring managers. We teach them to speak the employer’s language.

What are your marketable skills? What makes you the most qualified individual for a particular position? What makes you unique? We push our students to self-reflect and articulate the value they offer to hiring managers.

Dr. Tanja Hinterstoisser
Students meet with employers and recruiters numerous times a year. Here, a student networks with a recruiter at a career fair for cybersecurity and digital forensics experts.

By the time our students graduate, they’ve undergone four years of intensive, highly specialized, hands-on learning, specific to their chosen field. From a skills perspective, they are exceptionally equipped to meet the needs of the marketplace.

But it’s not just about what they know—today’s graduates need to be able to demonstrate their skills. Over the course of four years, we work with them, intensively, to prepare for interviews, hone their portfolios, develop their social media presence, network, secure internships and mentoring opportunities, and present themselves in the best light. We teach them how to show and tell exactly what they have to offer.

Dr. Hinterstoisser stands behind the Garden House, home of Champlain’s Career Collaborative. Career Collaborative provides comprehensive and innovative career development to all of its current and former undergraduate and graduate students.

Before they even arrive on campus, Champlain first years complete a career profile that pushes them to think through their skills and interests. It’s no coincidence that, even before they arrive, we are asking them to consider their path after graduation. On the very first day of school, they participate in a work study career fair that forces them to engage with potential employers and practice selling themselves. It’s not easy, and for many it is uncomfortable. But our goal is to get them ready to succeed in the real world. It’s competitive, and we want them to be prepared.

Champlain College’s 2019 Fall Career Fair is a great way to network and connect with various representatives of different companies in the area. It’s an opportunity to discover a job or internship that may potentially kick-start your career.

At Champlain, we are committed to providing our students with a “radically pragmatic” education. It’s at the heart of everything we do. After all, college is supposed to be a time of learning, development, and self-reflection. But it is also just the beginning of a lifelong pursuit of meaning and impact. Our students are ready to rise to whatever challenge the career world may contain. Thanks to career positioning, our Champlain graduates are ready to launch.

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