Dara Patterson, College and Career Planning Center Job Placement Specialist at Northeast Alabama Community College, (NACC) is always eager to assist students and graduates in seeking employment. Whether they need a résumé, interviewing tips, or job leads, she is ready to provide assistance. Patterson’s office is centrally located on campus in the Wallace Administration (WA) Building, Room 112, which is easily accessible to students.
“When students come in, I talk to them about their work history and their career goals,” said Patterson. Patterson stated goals are different for everyone, including short-term and long-term. For instance, a student may need a part-time job to help them get through school. Once they graduate, they go on to another career move. “I try to encourage every student to work on a résumé and reference page, as well as a cover letter, just to keep their information current,” said Patterson
According to Patterson, the College and Career Planning Center encourages students to research, develop, and focus on their goals while attending school. Patterson added that there are always unknowns, but she encourages students and alumni to get out and meet people in the fields that the students are considering. “The time factor is also a big thing to consider,” she said. “Job placement is not instantaneous, and placement depends on the amount of work and research the students are willing to put in plus their desire to work.”
The College and Career Planning Center offers many services that students can take advantage of in the form of career planning, transfer advising, job placement, and other career-related assistance. The center tries to help guide students in the direction of other services that NACC offers as well as those outside the college.
Sherry Whitten has served as the Director of the College and Career Planning Center since 2009. She provides guidance to students in career planning and academic advising. She also assists with organizing various events related to career exploration.
Bryon Miller serves as Career and Transfer Advisor for the Center. He helps students determine the courses that are required by their four-year institution. During one-on-one transfer advising sessions, Miller can even help students complete admissions applications, apply for scholarships, and set up school tours. Beyond these sessions, he also organizes various transfer fairs and events which bring representatives from these four-year schools to NACC’s campus.
Patterson said she is happy to meet with students and to just be a person there for them when filling out electronic job applications. "I find it helpful in making sure that employment applications are being completed in the best way possible to help guide our students’ job placement success."
Dara Patterson can be reached at 256-638-4418, ext. 2306, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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