Written by Jesse Sannicandro
The Kickoff Event for the Career Professionalism Program, Suitable Solutions, was held Monday, September 6. This Career Services and Employer Relations program is sponsored by the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce and a national retail company with financial support from Enterprise Holdings. The program, which consists of five distinct events, helps students develop skills in presenting oneself, conducting interviews, and networking. Thirty individuals participated in Suitable Solutions last year and CSER hopes to get even more this year.
Dawn Ross, Director of CSER, gave an overview of the program and introduced five guest speakers: campus recruiters Alfredo Garcia and Kara Bemis; Framingham State University alumni and employees of MWCC, Liane Kush and Michael Miller; and Caleb Mason, a current junior at FSU. The guests explained how the program teaches skills to actually secure a job.
“The first impression when you first come into an office is going to say a lot without you saying a word,” Alfredo said.
“When you get to the last round of interviews you’ve got to really be able to sell yourself,” Michael said.
A major aspect of projecting professionalism is how you look. You need to be able to look and act the part. Being well-groomed, poised, and confident are skills that the Suitable Solutions Program helps polish. Being able to communicate well is one of the most important soft skills to have in a career. Speaking, listening, and knowing the right questions to ask can always be improved with practice. Mock interviews will help perfect the strategy.
All of the panelists had nothing but good things to say about the program.
“The work that goes into this program is astronomical,” Kara said.
“I was one of those people that thought I had all my eggs in a basket, but my eggs were all broken on the ground,” Caleb said.
Student participants in the program will have individual career counseling, networking opportunities, mock interview experience, a corporate site visit, a professional business attire fitting, and a business etiquette dinner. At the end of the program, students receive professional attire to wear at interviews to show off their best professional self.
Although some students may think that this program is only for Fashion Design and Retailing Majors, this is simply not true. CSER events intern Kenetra Hinkins stressed, “No matter what major you are, you can definitely benefit from this program.”