| By O’Jay Cole, Journalist
The Office of Career and Employment Services at Northern Caribbean University has a critical mandate that rests upon its shoulders which is to Empower students to become ‘world-class’ professionals.
Shelli-Gaye Cuff Director of Career Services says the services offered by the office cover an array of subjects; career guidance counselling, help with job searches, assistance with employment applications, assessment tests, and résumé writing advice. Mrs Cuff also surveys the NCU’s surrounding communities to network with local businesses. “Through relationships with these companies, I’d become aware of job opportunities, and gather knowledge about what employers are looking for,” said Cuff.
The Office of Career Services supports the educational mission of Northern Caribbean University by helping students to develop, evaluate, and pursue career goals. In the process, students acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to make lifelong career decisions. “They helped me in my professional development with tips on how to make and leave a great impression wherever one may venture in terms of having a positive attitude, being organized and working efficiently with persons,” said Rusheme, NCU student.
Career is a critical subject but according to Mrs Cuff there are students who don’t grasp how critical it really is and their interests don’t reflect sound career reasoning “In my interactions with students, I’ve discovered that most times their only interest is just to find a job that will make ‘big money’. They’re more interested in finding a job than making a career, so their career goals aren’t strategic. So, the answer is no. I do not think students really understand how important it is to receive career guidance from our office as they make plans pertaining to their career goals” she said.
The Office of Career and Employment services has earned the NCU recognition for the quality students the school has produced who made use of the services the office provides “we do receive positive feedback from our students and alumni who have used our office to acquire jobs. Recently, I had spoken with someone in the HR office of the central bank in Jamaica, Bank of Jamaica and she expressed how pleased she was about the nature of workers our school has produced and how outstanding their performance on the job is,” said Cuff.
Currently, we are facing a global pandemic and as such companies are conducting meetings and interviews virtually, professional deportment is still essential even when presenting one’s self virtually. “Research continues to show that before you say a single word to the interviewer, you have already made an impression based on how you’re dressed. Dressing in the right attire for an interview shows that you’re serious about the job, respectful of the interviewer’s time, and are genuinely interested in the position. It also demonstrates an understanding of the corporate culture and showcases you as someone who would fit easily into the workplace dynamic” said Cuff.
She also added that even an individual presents his/herself great on paper, if the individual neglects to dress appropriately for an interview, an impression is given that the individual lacks self-respect and is not respectful of the interviewer. This also applies to interviews held virtually. The Office of Career and Employment services is certainly a vital arm of Northern Caribbean University which produces professionals ready for the world of work. Director Cuff has a message for students who haven’t visited the office yet “We want to hear from you! Visit us today at the Gymnatorium and let’s help you plan for your future”.
Contact Career and Employment Services by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow them on Instagram for updates and inspirational posts @ncu_career_services”