HCC Southwest Operation College Grad prepares students to be job-ready

Jun 1, 2017

In an effort to help graduating students and alumni of Houston Community College (HCC) become job-ready, HCC invited panelists to share best practices for landing a job in their field. Experts from the media, not-for-profit organizations, technology and manufacturing industries took the time to discuss preparations for job searching and interviewing.

“Many times, students are not familiar with how the job search goes. Having access to actual employers telling them what they expect from a candidate was very beneficial. Students and alumni learned best practices for being hired and job readiness,” said Mark Cain, job placement associate at HCC Southwest Career Planning Resource Department. The HCC Southwest Career Planning and Resources held the “Operation College Grad” seminar in partnership with HCC Southwest College Activity Board.

Modern technology plays an important role in job searches. The internet has ample resources that students can tap into to help them gain employment.

“In this technological age, you can easily go online and research the company. There are even apps that tell you how to interview and how to write a resume,” Cain said.

The panelists consisted of industry professionals, such as Vickie Angenend, KTRK-TV Channel 13 human resource manager, Shania Wright, Baker-Ripley human resources manager, Jonathan Nelsen, The Reynolds and Reynolds Company manager, and Nathan Byman, Wolfram Manufacturing president. Attendees learned the importance of researching the company they are applying to, taking notes and asking questions during the interview, and how a thank-you note can play a role in getting a call back for another position in the future.

Students were encouraged to work on their soft skills such as verbal and written communications, time management and leadership skills, teamwork, problem solving, and conflict resolution. Like any skill, soft skills can be learned by taking a course, seeking mentors, and volunteering at nonprofit organizations.

“I needed a lot of information to take the next step after graduation,” said Solange Konan, HCC student and natural science major. “I learned a lot, like how to write a successful resume and make the most of job opportunities.”

According to HCC Southwest Career Planning and Resources, a job search is a full-time job and students need to prepare in order to succeed. HCC offers a number of free resources to students to get them ready for the job market. For information on career planning at HCC, contact hccs.edu/district/students/career-planning.


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