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The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Thursday, May 30, 2024
The Echo
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CCO offers interview, career readiness

Office acts as helping hand

Are you unsure of what career you’re going into after Taylor?

The Calling and Career Office (CCO), located in the Boren Campus Center, is an organization that connects students to internships and careers they may be interested in pursuing. Some of their other services include help building a resume, finding out one’s skill set and even exploring one’s interests to determine how they can help.

The CCO includes Assistant Director Kaitlin Neel, Assistant Dean Jeff Aupperle, Office Manager & Secretary Kim McGary and their student intern staff.

Neel integrates faith into building connections with students who come to the CCO.

“In the CCO, it’s really all about trying to fulfill our mission statement,” Neel said. “So it’s connecting students with people and experiences and helping them discern a faithful response to God’s call in our life.”

Neel said that she spends her average day discussing vocation with students and helping them find a role through that.

Another common task is talking with students who are unsure about their major or have yet to decide what they wish to do with their major in the future.

“You’re wrestling with those questions,” Neel said. "So it’s talking with them, meeting with them. We also do a lot of different events. We’ll just basically help students prepare for their future career so it could be our interns, who do a lot of resume reviews. But we meet with them on how to fill out applications, on how to do an interview, how to write cover letters.”

Neel said that all of their interns get to know each other well. They have weekly meetings to discuss core values and how to encourage Taylor’s student body.

CCO intern Casey Bane is a junior public relations major and talks about the different roles interns fulfill at the CCO. Some of the projects that he has taken on include editing commercials for the organization and hosting events throughout the year.

“Some people work with data,” Bane said. “Some people work in customer or employee relations, and I’m the public relations strategist. So, I work a lot with Handshake and try to promote that out to the students and get those percentages up.”

Bane said that working as an intern has helped him develop valuable skills and experience. He has learned how to work in the moment when students come to him and request help with resume reviews and cover letters.

CCO Intern Sarah Maloney, also a junior, said that interns meet with prospective students and their families to guide them around Taylor and inform them about its community and academics. There are also a variety of events that the CCO hosts.

“In the fall, we plan the fall Internship and Career Fair,” Maloney said. “We plan Professional Palooza, and we plan the Hiring by Spring event.”

One of Maloney’s favorite parts about the job is the team bonding when the interns move in a week early in the year. Everyone feels comfortable interacting with one another when working in the office, she said.

Maloney recommends that people work at the CCO to develop skills and build relationships with their fellow interns and their supervisors. 

She also recommends that students make appointments through a QR code on posters or their Handshake account. Every student has a Handshake account through their Taylor email.

Office Manager Kim McGary said that she has enjoyed working with the staff and that each member is intentional in their community engagement and their job.

“We really want to help people,” McGary said. "If you need an internship, or if you need a job, or if you just need to talk about your vocation or your major, we just really want to help students. We want to be a welcoming place on campus.”

Several Taylor alumni have reconnected with the CCO, according to Neel. These students include those who found a starting point in their careers. 

Some alumni who reconnect with the CCO  connect with students to potentially hire them within their companies.

“Alumni will sometimes visit when they visit campus,” Neel said. “They’ll come in and say, ‘This is where I’m at, and I found this job through Handshake, or you helped me make this connection.’ And so, there are long-standing relationships, and we do get a decent bit of emails. We’ve helped to serve and connect, but also, we get people who are employers now.”

Neel said that others usually see the Calling and Career Office as an intimidating setting. However, they are always happy to welcome anyone who wants help finding a job or an internship, setting up a mock interview or utilizing many other services.

If you want to learn more about yourself and what you aspire to do in your future, the staff says you are not alone in your job situation. They are always here to help.