Friday, May 25, 2018

Brendan Norton on his experience as a CDC Fellow



My first experience at the Career Development Center was at the Bantam Sophomore Success Program last fall. Like many students, I thought I would use the opportunity to get back to school a few days early. Instead, it turned out to be one of my best experiences at Trinity thus far. Aside from the fact that the program was interesting and useful, I made valuable connections with members of the CDC staff. After meeting some of the Senior Fellows, I decided to apply for a student assistant job that was available at the office. The laid-back atmosphere and friendly personalities allowed me to feel at home almost immediately. By the time spring rolled around, I was comfortable with everyone in the office, including the then-current fellows, and decided to extend my stay in the office another year by applying for the Career Development Fellows position.

The Career Development Fellows position is a new program (only in its second year) that has been implemented by the Career Development Office to increase its outreach to the student body. This year there are five fellows; Ana Medina ’16, Madison Starr ’16, Madeline Melly ’16, Paul Nicholas ’16, and myself, Brendan Norton ’16. As a group, we are working together to give individual presentations to Freshman Seminars about the functions of the CDC and how we, as fellows, can offer initial student-to-student support early on in the process. Additionally, we have gone through extensive training so that we can help advise students on resume building and career exploration. We each have different in-office hours (between 9 A.M. and 4 P.M.) during the week, and also an hour of out-of-office advising for increased flexibility and accessibility. Each fellow also works on personal projects targeted at the student body. For example, I am organizing a junior workshop on resume building and how to prepare for the critical junior internship search on October 28th. This is just one example of the vast array of opportunities the CDC is continually organizing for students.

Circling back to my first interaction with the Career Development Center, I entered the Sophomore Success Program with no resume and a vague idea of my major. After the program and a few appointments with the CDC staff that fall, I had a usable resume, decided on my major, and even had an informational interview with an alumni about my interest in their respective career field. I am now an Environmental Science major with a possible Urban Studies minor. I play on the Rugby Team and am also on the student-run board of the Club Hockey team. Similarly, the other fellows are even more involved in a wide variety of classes, clubs, and activities on campus that give us a well-rounded insight to student life. At the most basic level, this is why the fellow position exists: to allow the Career Devlopment Center staff to design programs and workshops that are going to be most beneficial to Trinity students.

The staff at the CDC cares about Trinity students more than many people will ever know. They are constantly asking how they can attract more students to programs, and how they can be more relevant or helpful. The Sophomore Success Program and Entrepreneurship Competition are just a couple of examples of major events the CDC hosts for students. These projects take extensive amounts of effort and time. Another event that took place behind the scenes this summer was the system switch over from Experience to Symplicity. This may not seem like much, but it took countless hours over the summer to transfer all of the CDC’s information to the new system, just so it may be more user-friendly for students.

Although the process of getting an internship and especially your first job may seem like a daunting one, the Career Development Staff is here to help you along every step of the way. Everyone in the office is friendly and ready to help you with whatever you need. The fellows are an additional resource all students should feel comfortable using, especially underclassmen or students using the Career Development Center for the first time. Log on to symplicity and book your appointments now!


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