introduction to career readiness

Preparing for the Future: Inside University of Bridgeport’s New Career Readiness Course

University of Bridgeport is dedicated to preparing students with the skills, knowledge, and hands-on experiences they need to thrive in their future careers. To ready students for the most in-demand jobs of tomorrow, students begin preparing for their future the moment they first step foot on UB’s campus.

One example of the many career-building opportunities UB students have access to is the launch of a new Career-Readiness Course. This student-centered pre-internship course was designed, implemented, and taught by Stephanie Beach, University of Bridgeport’s Director of Career Development.

Read on for an in-depth look into how this course helps students prepare for and secure internship opportunities while earning their degree at University of Bridgeport.

What Students Need to Succeed

By Stephanie Beach, Director of Career Development, University of Bridgeport

This course is designed to prepare students for their professional journey by helping them learn the steps they need to take to land the career of their dreams. The goal is for our students to gain a better understanding of what these steps are, how they can best develop the skills to reach their goals, and why this type of planning and preparation is important to landing a career in their desired field. Students learn how to search for open positions and what to look for to ensure the roles they are searching for are the right fit for them. When they find a position they are interested in, I encourage them to use what they’ve learned in class when they apply and interview for that job. I want students to finish this course with an understanding of how to gain an internship or job within their desired field. The aim is for students to have a better understanding of how to secure an internship for the following semester or a full-time position after graduation. Ultimately, this program succeeds when our students succeed.

Landing the Job

As part of their coursework, students create resumes and cover letters, update their LinkedIn profiles, and practice mock interviews. They also create an “elevator pitch” to best present themselves and their skills to potential employers. While attending the career fair, I challenge students to meet with employers to submit their resumes and present their pitches. This helps to build their confidence in speaking with potential employers. In class, students collaborate by asking each other interview questions to be better prepared for the mock interview final with UB staff and local employers. These challenges in class prepare students to apply these skills confidently in actual interviews with potential employers.

“In this course, we learned how to navigate different avenues to help us look for job opportunities. We learned how to make our resumes and cover letters pop and suit the job description. We were also taught how to present our ‘elevator pitch,’ which was something I didn’t know about until I took this course. Lastly, we learned what to expect when going for an interview and how to answer those questions effectively. This course helped me better understand the importance of having a resume that properly shows who you are since it’s the first thing an employer will most likely see. I learned how to be better prepared for the interview I recently did for my new job. The skills I learned from this course helped me go into the interview confident and ready for the questions asked of me.”

-Shaun Taylor

Growing Your Network

With the world becoming increasingly more virtual, we’re finding that many employers turn down candidates based on what they see on the internet, with most employers checking candidates’ (or even their own employees’) social media presence. I go over the importance of keeping your online presence clean and how to do so. LinkedIn is an important and popular tool to connect and network with like-minded professionals. It’s still very much about “whom you know,” but is becoming more and more about “who you’re connected with.” By having more connections on LinkedIn and engaging with the right people, a greater variety of job opportunities will be present on your newsfeed.

“This course is helping me by exposing me to people I wouldn’t have ever met in another situation, encouraging me to step outside of my comfort zone when it comes to looking for work, and helping me get internships and potential jobs. I learned about professional development by researching jobs, internships, and employers. Stephanie taught us the importance of networking and professional etiquette in the workplace and during interviews. “

-Manny Planas, Class of 2025

Looking Toward the Future

The Career Readiness course helps students build their confidence, take their knowledge from the classroom to the workplace, and be well-prepared for life after UB.

To learn more about University of Bridgeport’s career-focused degree programs, contact us today!

Stephanie Beach is the Director of Career Development. She helps students build professional skills, from resume writing to searching for, applying to, and interviewing for open positions. Most recently, Stephanie created a course dedicated to supporting and teaching students to build these career-readiness skills. With her own career path being a winding road and always having an interest in reviewing resumes, Stephanie found a passion for helping students with their career and professional development starting as early as their first year in college.