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TU Career Center helps students, community find jobs

By Rachel Wiggins, Student writer

Since its birth last fall, the Thomas University Career Center has been helping students and community members find jobs.

Operating the Career Center are eight graduate student interns in TU’s Master of Science in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling degree program. Located in room 2 near the library on TU’s Main Campus, the Career Center has appointments available with the counselors most weekdays during daytime and evening hours as well as Saturdays.

“Our main focus last semester was building connections in the community,” said David Barnett, Career Center Director. “This semester we have continued establishing those connections, but have put more emphasis on training our interns for placement, completing assessments and providing experience in the field. The interns in the department provide their services not only to the TU community, but to anyone who could use their assistance. The list of services they provide range from the preparatory steps of building a résumé, to the final steps of preparing for an interview. They aid in every step in-between.”

Career center interns also developed a program with the local libraries that allow them to provide career counseling services to the public. They set up areas inside the Thomas County Library and the Roddenberry Memorial Library in Cairo to advise anyone needing job assistance.

Rick Barfield, a Career Center Intern and Counselor, serves at the Roddenberry Memorial Library every Monday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until early May. Debbie Reeves, another Career Center Intern and Counselor, serves as an advisor at the Thomas County Public Library every Tuesday from 5 to 8 p.m.

In addition to the program at the libraries, TU’s Career Center has developed a partnership with the Independent Living Program at the Vashti Center for Children and Families. Vashti’s Independent Living Program assists students with the purpose of aiding those students in gaining necessary skills before they turn 18 and transition into independence. TU’s Career Center Counselor Sharon Marie Davis helps these students work through barriers and help develop practical skills and job skills.

“The Vashti Center, Inc. are extremely excited to have partnered with The Thomas University Career Center in effort to enhance the program's life skills services offered to the youth being served in its residential programs,” said Arlisha Wildgoose, Senior Program Director at The Vashti Center, Inc. “The Thomas University Career Center has played such an integral role in filling a gap in our program's ability to offer much-needed life skills in the areas of career exploration/development aiding in the preparation of our youth that will soon transition back into their communities.

“The Thomas University Career Center is currently serving approximately 10 youths in residential with plans to increase this number. The Vashti Center, Inc. envisions and eagerly anticipates opportunities to expand its independent living services in effort to support progression of its youth toward graduated independence while also empowering our youth to be productive and self-sufficient individuals,” Wildgoose continued.

For more information about the TU Career Center, contact Barnett at (229) 226-1621 Ext. 1117 or dbarnett@thomasu.edu.

Education that Engages... Empowers... TRANSFORMS

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