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Phoenix Forward magazine

New center to offer career coaching services

Career coaching

University of Phoenix students and alumni in need of academic or career support soon will be able to visit the state-of-the-art Phoenix Career and Coaching Center.

“At University of Phoenix, we’re interested in not just providing a solid education, but also the soft skills that are essential to [helping land] employment — interviewing, networking, resumé development,” says Casey Rehling, MBA, director of strategic operations for Phoenix Career Services™. “This center will help us do that for our thousands of students and alumni in the Phoenix metro area.”

He adds, “If [this center] is as successful as we think it’ll be, we’ll likely be opening more’’ at other locations.

Located in the John Sperling Center for Educational Innovation at the Phoenix Main Campus, the coaching center, scheduled to open February 1, 2014, will provide complimentary career coaching from a full-time, on-site career coach, along with academic support services from three student success coaches.

It also will offer a “technology bar” with computers, electronic tablets and all the latest software programs students and alumni should master to be competitive, according to Rehling.

“Academic success and career success are often linked,” he explains. “We realize that our students and alumni can run into academic difficulties and career roadblocks at any time.” For example, students who are working while attending school who get laid off may need help finding a new job so they can stay in school.

Academic success and career success are often linked.

“Meanwhile, someone who is having trouble acclimating to the online classroom or using the library can get support with how to use those resources so they don’t get behind in their studies, which can also negatively impact career development,” Rehling adds. He notes that some students will require both services simultaneously.

The on-site student success coaches will help students learn how to make accurate research citations when writing papers, provide training on the Microsoft Office® suite and advise students on how to effectively use all the various academic tools the University provides. “For example, if a student is having trouble writing papers, [the coaches] make a referral to the Center for Writing Excellence,” Rehling says.

Students and alumni seeking ways to connect their educational goals and achievements to career planning can meet with the center’s career coach either briefly during the coach’s scheduled drop-in hours or at a private appointment.

“A resumé polish or a few job-search tips only takes five to 10 minutes, so you can do that as a drop-in,” Rehling explains. “But if you need something more in-depth, like how to structure your resumé to target a certain industry, how to network or [how to craft] an elevator pitch — that’s where you’ll need more time one-on-one with the career coach.”

Rehling also encourages students and alumni to take advantage of the various online tools from Phoenix Career Services — from the Phoenix Career Guidance System™, which is available to the general public, to tools accessible only by students and alumni, such as the resumé builder and interview practice tool for honing career goals and marketing materials before receiving coaching.

“You want to do some preparation before you meet with a professional career coach — otherwise it’s like hiring Tiger Woods to learn to play golf without ever holding a golf club,” Rehling says. “Career coaching is far more effective if you’ve done some groundwork first.”

The on-site career coach also can help students with topics like effective interview techniques, salary negotiations and midcareer switches. Students needing longer-term career coaching can get referrals to the University’s virtual coaches, who provide consultation via phone and email.

Success coaches will be available Monday through Thursday, 9 am to 7 pm, and Friday 8 am to noon. Students may call 602.557.2291 for career coach availability, or send an email message to phx.coachingcenter@phoenix.edu. Hours also may be added to make further accommodations for students and alumni.

 

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