Connect to a new career

Unemployment is now at 9.2 percent statewide. A job search can take a lot of time and effort when the job market is this competitive.

Many students do not know that Bellevue College maintains a career center that helps students with job hunting, career paths, workshops and internships. It can also help with personal matters, such as housing or daycare assistance. It’s called the Center for Career Connections and is located above Student Services in the B building.

“Even in a rough economy like the one we are in now, jobs are available, but they are hard to find,” said Teresa McClane-Jaswal, Assistant Director of the center. “Many employers aren’t even advertising that they are hiring. The key is to go out and search for them.”

McClane-Jaswal also said there will be a job fair on Wednesday May 6. It will feature employers, such as BECU and Allstate, with plenty of jobs available. These include positions in health care, early childhood education, administration, graphic design, accounting, bookkeeping, and counseling.

McClane-Jaswal recalled a story of a student that attended Bellevue College a couple of years ago. The student was injured in a car accident that left her with extreme memory loss. Since she had lost her memory, she had to relearn everything again. She contacted the Center for Career Connections and asked for help with applying to the college. With previous college experience, it was hard for her to return to school, especially since she was an adult and felt that she did not belong. The center got her connected with financial resources and gave her encouragement. By gaining a scholarship through the program, she was able to begin her medical career and work toward her dream of becoming a doctor.

“There are a lot of people that have had things happen to their lives and found help through the center. We help them get connected to other campuses and resources so that they can go to school and get their degrees,” McClane-Jaswal said.

The center is part of an online career management system called “Connect!”. This is a job search system created to help students find part-time, full-time, and seasonal jobs. It also contains many internships for almost every career. Center Specialist Maren Schmidt said, “Connect! is very easy to use. All a student has to do is log on and register. What is cool about [it] is that you can specify the job you’re looking for, and it will research all the positions available and email it to you.” Schmidt also said that students could apply for positions via Connect!

“Even in the bad economic climate we are in now, students who prepare a resume for a job, practice their interview skills, and stay positive will have a better chance at finding a job, especially if they use the resources like career workshops and resume critiques that the Center of Career Connection offers. The jobs are out there, but you have to work to find them,” McClane-Jaswal said.