Wilson College recently welcomed its newest member of the Office of Student Development, Jay Pfeiffer, who is the new director of Career Services at Wilson.
Pfeiffer brings with him a broad range of experience. He completed the Counseling and College Student Personnel Masters Program at Shippensburg University, and has worked at both state institutions and liberal arts colleges in the field of advising and career development.
Pfeiffer’s own experience while going through different careers made him a believer in the transferability of skills from one job to another and piqued his interest in career development.
Providing continuity to Office of Student Development
Pfeiffer believes a lot of the pre-existing programs in Wilson, including internship programs and grad school presentations, are vital to any career program, and he intends to give them continuity.
"At the same time, I plan to bring new things, adding my own personal touch to the services offered," he says.
New career exploration tools
As a new initiative Pfeiffer started implementing Career Exploration. Due to a lack of career exploration tools, Pfeiffer implemented the FOCUS online assessment tools.
The online assessment tools look at interests, values and personality, also taking in traditional things like Myers Briggs and the Holland Code, and integrates the information to give students ideas of where to look in terms of majors here at Wilson and what they can do with those majors.
Pfeiffer also began a workshop series under which one program is held every week in Wilson at two different times. The workshops cover a wide range of topics from career exploration to job search.
Besides Career Exploration, Pfeiffer created "Wilson College Professional Network," a professional group on LinkedIn.com as a meeting place for Wilson staff, students, faculty and alumni, as well as a resource for students.
The orientation process gave Pfeiffer a chance to work with the new students, an experience he remembers fondly. He believes students can best benefit from active participation in programs offered by student development.
He often observes that students wait until their senior year to prepare their résumés.
Pfeiffer's advice: begin your career early
"They try to fit four years into two days," he says.
He considers it incredibly important for students to take advantage of career resources from their very first days at college. These resources, he says, help students explore their options and find a field that fits them.
Even students who have declared majors can be reassured that they are making the right decision and get other options for minors, hobbies or internships.
Pfeiffer seeks to better enhance students’ experience and hopes to be accepted and appreciated at Wilson.
"I hope I can give back to the community as much as they’ve given me already," he adds.