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APSU's revamped career services connecting students and alumni with employers

            CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – For years, the Austin Peay State University Career Services Office was seen as little more than a resume critiquing service. Students would occasionally stop by the small rooms inside the Morgan University Center to hear that pink paper and a Comic Sans font didn’t help with their job prospects. The office’s small staff and operating budget didn’t leave it much room for anything else.

            CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – For years, the Austin Peay State University Career Services Office was seen as little more than a resume critiquing service. Students would occasionally stop by the small rooms inside the Morgan University Center to hear that pink paper and a Comic Sans font didn’t help with their job prospects. The office’s small staff and operating budget didn’t leave it much room for anything else.

             But late last year, as the University looked at ways to make its students more attractive to potential employers, administrators decided to convert the office into a full-service, stand-alone department. In August, the new Department of Career Services opened with a larger professional staff and budget, allowing APSU to provide students and alumni with more opportunities for finding the jobs that fit their skills.

            “Both students and employers in the community still see us as only helping people with their resumes,” Amanda Walker, the new director of Career Services, said. “We’re so much more than that, and we really want to make our presence known.”

            Since last fall, Walker and her staff have been aggressively meeting with local and national employers and inviting them to campus. The department is particularly eager to work with local employers to both meet their recruiting needs and expand local internship opportunities for APSU students.

            “We want to embrace local employers because a lot of our students are from this area, and we really want to provide as many opportunities for students that want to stay here in Montgomery County,” Walker said. “We’re open to partnering with those companies, getting them more actively engaged on campus and in front of more students.”

            Last month, the Department of Career Services unveiled a powerful new online tool that will help connect employers with students. The tool, Jobs4Govs, is available through the career services website, http://www.apsu.edu/careers, and it allows employers to post jobs specifically for APSU students. Access to the database is free for employers, APSU students and APSU alumni.

            “Employers can post a job in the system and allow our students to apply,” Walker said. “They can then preselect from those students and only interview the ones they want on the day they set. The selected student would then sign up for a time slot.”

            The Department of Career Services staff is also available to help guide students through the entire job search process with advising, career assessments and interview preparation.

            “We’re developing our students to be better prepared for the workplace,” Walker said. “We’re preparing them for that first day on the job, and we’re also preparing them for what an internship experience looks like. We’re letting them know what’s expected when you’re in those types of roles.”

            Students, alumni and employers are now able to register with the Jobs4Govs database. They can also learn about the many more services the department provides by contacting the staff at 931-221-6544 or careerservices@apsu.edu.

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Austin Peay State University’s career services mission is to assist students in making the successful transition from academia to the world of work by providing them with opportunities to engage in meaningful activities. (Adison Hardyway, APSU)