February 8, 2019
On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, students packed the third-floor ballroom of Corbett Center to visit over 100 employers at Career Connections, an event hosted every spring by the team at Career Services. Many employers return to Career Connections year after year seeking students for both summer jobs or internships, and permanent positions. Their return is a great testament to the value of an NMSU degree. From experience, they know that Aggie graduates are hard-working and have a well-rounded education.
Numerous recruiters are themselves Aggie graduates. Electrical Engineering Professor Steve Stochaj says he sometimes sees more of his former students at Career Fairs than at Homecoming! Aggie graduates who return as recruiters can help students understand that workplace experience is of great assistance in selecting an academic path and in making smart career decisions.
Faculty and staff, too, can help students understand the value of an internship. Workplace experience early in a student’s college education provides valuable insight into the profession. Juniors and seniors in the workplace can hone in on how they want to specialize within their field. Regardless of the students’ level, any professional experience looks great on the resume.
One student I spoke with was unaware that employers would consider hiring a student after a year or two of course work. I made certain that he knew employers were very interested – I even gave him a couple of names! This type of experiential learning helps our students better prepare for the workplace.
Kudos to the Career Services team for this event and for all the events they hold throughout the academic year. Employment Extravaganza on March 13 will focus on regional employment opportunities. At upcoming fairs, students can learn about employment opportunities for educators and with AmeriCorps and the military. Representatives from New Mexico Workforce Connections are also on campus regularly and can help students from all disciplines find jobs, especially in the Las Cruces area.
In the future, we will be seeking to understand more about the success of our students after they leave NMSU. This is not an easy task, but it will help us serve our students better. This information is also of increasing interest to our accreditation bodies, and to state and federal governments.
This emphasis on student success is front and center within NMSU LEADS 2025, the current draft version of our strategic plan. As mentioned by Chancellor Arvizu, this plan was presented to the Board of Regents in Santa Fe at the end of January, and this semester the Chancellor, Provost Mason, and I will present this plan to you at numerous events and venues.
This outreach will take the form of in-person visits, small group/unit forums, and feedback through the NMSU LEADS 2025 website. Look on that page for information as we confirm the dates for outreach to Employee Council, Faculty Senate, the Colleges, ASNMSU, Community Colleges, and other offices.