Life after Tech is a strange proposition to the many students who are currently engaged in working to attain a degree. The time and energy required to do so can make understanding what the future will look like and actualizing a plan rather difficult.
Moreover, the plethora of options regarding internships, co-ops and jobs can make navigating to a final destination quite a puzzle. But fret not, the Center for Career Discovery and Development (C2D2) is working hard to bring clarity to an often murky process and to help you realize the future you want.
The work of C2D2 has many facets and encompasses many aspects of a student’s experience while at Tech.
To Dr. Michelle Tullier, executive director of C2D2, the basic mission of C2D2 is “helping students learn how work works.” However, this encompasses a great deal more than the usual tasks about which one might think.
“Co-ops, internships and jobs for graduating seniors are extremely important for us to provide, and we will never take our eye off the ball of helping students package themselves competitively for those opportunities, but we aim to do more than that,” Tullier said. “We want students to leave Tech knowing how to manage their careers to be both successful and happy over the long haul and to not have tunnel vision, focusing only on the successful outcome of getting that first job.”
To help students achieve this holistic understanding of themselves and to provide career opportunities, C2D2 has implemented many resources.
This includes pre-departure workshops so that students entering the workforce know what to expect in the real world, a revamped career portion of GT1000 which has customized programming specific to individual majors and Pre-Graduate and Pre-Professional advising (PGPP).
These efforts have paid off in recent years, as evidenced by the number of students earning offers of employment.
“We’re proud of the ‘get work’ part of our ‘learn how work works’ mission, with graduating senior offer rates ranging from 85 to 90 percent over the past three years,” Tullier said.
It has not always been this easy for students to seek career advice and obtain the necessary resources for a fulfilling experience at Tech and after. After merging two separate programs that encompassed the roles of the current C2D2, Tullier and her team had to take the positives of the previous system and integrate them with the new vision of a holistic, community-centered career center.
“We’ve created a one-stop shop for students, employers and the campus community for career advising and career counseling, employer relations and taught leadership around leading-edge career development approaches,” Tullier shared. “At the same time, we have become increasingly community-focused, working with the many talented staff and faculty out in the colleges who are doing excellent work around career advising and employer relations.”
These efforts have resulted in a student body that has easy access to information and guidance unique to each student. Thus, it should come as no surprise that C2D2 is an invaluable resource for students who are heavily desired by the workforce and by prestigious graduate programs. By helping students navigate through these myriad opportunities, C2D2 helps ensure that the end result is rewarding.
“Students can count on C2D2 to be fully dedicated to staying ahead of the knowledge curve regarding the best ways to prepare for a career and secure work, and they can count on us to manage the employer and graduate or professional school recruiter relationships that make Tech one of the best institutions in the country for a return-on-investment after graduation,” Tullier said.
While finding a job can at times seem like a distant blur, it is never too early to plan. Tullier recommends that students make use of C2D2 resources from the start of their Tech careers.
“Students can and should engage with C2D2 when they first start at Tech,” Tullier explained. “The best place to start is the student section of our website, careerdiscovery.gatech.edu, and by attending our webinars and workshops and then meeting with a career advisor as needed.”
Seeking advice early is especially important for those who seek to go to professional school or to apply for prestigious fellowships as these processes are often rather involved.
Additionally, students are encouraged to take advantage of CareerBuzz, an important communication and career portal so that they are up to date on events and deadlines.
C2D2 is continuing to work hard and engage with students not only to ensure that Tech students remain some of the most sought-after graduates, but so that students are prepared to advance in their journey being both well informed and eager for the adventure ahead.