Career Development Services helps students land jobs


For many college students, the idea of life after graduation can seem pretty intimidating. Resumes, portfolios, job interviews — entering the workforce is a big deal.
Fortunately, Career Development Services is there to help.
CDS has been an important part of Florida Gulf Coast University for years. Its goal is “promoting student learning and development and helping students fulfill their career expectations.” In other words, CDS helps FGCU students learn, grow and kickstart their careers.
But what exactly are these “services” that CDS offers? Students can receive help with cover-letter writing, professional networking, employer research, job shadowing and salary negotiation, as well as many other aspects of job hunting. CDS is dedicated to getting students the careers they want post-graduation, whatever that takes. The numbers show that CDS is not only popular, but effective. According to the annual report for the 2013-14 school year, more than 60 percent of FGCU students used at least one aspect of CDS. Of this majority of students, 76 percent reported that their experience with CDS “exceeded expectations.”

CDS is also a hit with local employers. Dr. Maureen Ungarean, the director of human resources for the School District of Collier County, said, “all members of the [CDS] team are warm, welcoming and extremely helpful.”
Laura Scott of Enterprise Holdings also appreciates CDS, stating that they “understand the importance of face to face interactions with students throughout the year.”
Reid Lennertz has been the director of CDS since 2002. He believes in the importance of “having students reflect on their career goals.”

“We’re really about helping students understand what they want to accomplish,” Reid said. “That’s the reason why we offer help with resumes and cover letters and so on.”
“We have a web-based service called CareerShift now that helps you search for jobs and contact companies that are hiring,” Lennertz said. We also have the very important Career and Internship Fair coming up on Feb. 4, which gives students a chance to meet local employers and make connections.”
FGCU alumn Shanelle Walters worked with CDS adviser Rita Giddens last summer and really benefited from the experience.
“Rita encouraged me to follow my passion for youth and choose a career based on what I would really enjoy doing,” Walters said. “Thanks to her support I landed an invaluable internship that turned into my present job as a mentor program coordinator right after Summer 2014 graduation.”
Learn more about Career Development Services here.