Students attending the PackPros series put on by the Career Development Center learn more about the importance of cover letters in Talley Student Union on Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. The event helps students with real life job experience tips and career readiness.

The Career Development Center has moved all of its operations and services online for the fall semester and is still available for students looking for assistance with career readiness. Students can expect what is normally offered from the Career Development Center, however, it is in a virtual environment. 

In a typical semester, career ambassadors like Devon Waterman, a second-year studying business administration, and Rani Shah, a third-year studying genetics, would be leading weekly PackPros workshops in Talley Student Union, going out to organizations in Living and Learning Villages, conducting workshops on topics such as preparing for graduate school and working with other career ambassadors as mentors. 

Since the shift to online, students have been able to attend drop-in appointments and online PackPros workshops and book 30-minute sessions with career counselors. According to Waterman, career ambassadors want to keep people involved this semester.

“It’s hard to be in a virtual setting and have folks sit down for 60 minutes and look at boxes on a Zoom screen, so we definitely recognize that and we are doing everything possible to keep people engaged,” Waterman said.

Shah said reaching out to people like career ambassadors and other representatives from the Career Development Center through email is a great way to get more information, especially when everything is being conducted virtually. According to Shah, there is always someone in the office to answer students’ questions.

Pack Career Chats, the Career Development Center’s podcast, covers topics like key questions to ask an interviewer and making LinkedIn connections. 

Waterman specifically mentioned episode 67, “Master the Art of Virtual Career Fairs with Dr. Kelly Laraway,” and said that the episode is  important to hear with the beginning of the career fair season and students having to market themselves online more.   

Shah recommends additional virtual career fair resources from the Career Development Center website, like the Career Fair Plus app, as well as guides to preparing and attending virtual career fairs. 

“It’s going to be such a new platform for everybody, and I think it might be a great way of also answering and asking more questions than you would in a real career fair because you might have more time, you might be able to go back a little bit easier, so I think it’s definitely a great resource,” Shah said. 

Another resource few students know about but should consider is ePACK, which provides students with an alumni connection opportunity, according to Shah. Through ePACK, students can reach out to NC State alumni in the field or career they are interested in.

Shah said she suggests using this uncertain time to reflect on career options.

“Take your time, don’t rush into anything,” Shah said. “When you take a step back and don’t realize you’re looking for something is when it actually comes to you.”

Waterman emphasized the importance of maintaining positivity.

“Don’t lose hope; remember that it’s a tough time for everyone and that we will bounce back,” Waterman said. “A lot of folks right now are looking to hire people, and they recognize that because you may not have work experience directly does not mean you’re any less qualified for the job. You will most assuredly get an opportunity right now, so it’s all about waiting and staying tenacious, continuously applying, continuously putting yourself out there and being your best self.”

Students can go to Career Development Center’s website for more information and access to the opportunities being offered this semester. 

The COVID-19 update page has information and links to register for upcoming events. Pack Career Chats is available on all streaming services.