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Career Kickstarter

By Samantha Latos
On February 1, 2019

The Career Kickstarter is a workshop meant to help the current students and alumni of Plymouth State University seek and maintain jobs. This is a worthwhile opportunity especially to anyone experiencing anxieties about entering the job market. Current students may register online for free. It costs $15 for alumni. Other organizations offer similar training sessions that can cost hundreds of dollars, so be sure to take advantage of this opportunity.

The Career Development Office, formerly known as Career Services, is sponsoring the event. It will be facilitated by consultant and former PSU professor Terri Dautcher.

The benefits of attending include polishing professional skills such as resume building, interview integrity, and budget planning. “We’ll have activities, worksheets, and budget planning tools so students can be sure to meet their debt obligations,” Terri Dautcher said. Terri will be delivering most of the content of the workshop. She’s spoken to student audiences on the subject before, since she used to teach professional employment, career-focused gen eds, and marketing. “I really try to bring my expertise from an employer’s lense, and from a job market lense,” she said. She may introduce some of her former students to the workshop via Skype in order to bring in as much advice to participants as possible.

The Career Kickstarter will be held on Sunday, February 10th, from 10am to 5pm in the Merrill Place Conference Center. Lunch will be provided. Similar workshops have been held on campus in the past, but under different names, and not as advanced content-wise. The Career Kickstarter is sure to be informative. If it proves successful, it will hopefully become an annual endeavor.

PSU sophomore Travis Hull expressed his interest in the workshop, “As someone going off into the workforce in two years, having the knowledge and skills necessary to impress my future employers will give me a much better advantage than my competitors.”

The Career Development Office is hoping for a sizeable turnout in attendance. Students are encouraged to sign up with friends so they feel comfortable throughout the day and more likely to remain actively engaged in the workshop.

Lesley Blakney, the new Director of Career Development, was able to shed some light on how crucial this workshop is. “The first question I always pose to students is, “Why did you come to college?... is it to get a better job after you graduate?” – Always, the majority of students raise their hands in agreeance. I then shift my message as to “You owe it to yourself to engage with Career Development programming.”’ This program is designed to help students become career ready and develop the confidence and strategies to be successful in getting a job or internship. Managing your internship or job search is the equivalent to taking another course, so this is a great program focused on equipping students and young alumni with the tools and resources all in one day,” she said.

All the skills featured in the Career Kickstarter, including refining communication skills, developing strong time management and networking skills, will give young people a lead. College students may be especially interested in learning how to budget themselves. “Students would say yes to a job without first looking at their salaries and how they cover the cost of living. They will learn how to position themselves not to fall behind on loan payments, and how to ask and negotiate for salaries they need,” Dautcher said, “They’ll learn the skill of financial literacy.” College kids are no strangers to anxiety surrounding money. We all need to learn how to provide for themselves eventually. This is an opportunity to hear all about that, for free, right here on campus.

This workshop is not just for locals. The Career Kickstarter is not limited to the Plymouth area or the state of New Hampshire for that matter. Students won’t have to worry about competing in an ever-changing market for restricted jobs. “We’re going to be talking about how to do a national job search,” she said, “As well as how to set yourself up for a relocation to a new area. Say, for example, your five-year-plan lands you living in Connecticut, or an area otherwise separate from where you are now.” The job search out in the real world is nationwide, and so this workshop will prepare people with accurate information and useful skills.

Current students and alumni will benefit equally from this workshop. “Alumni and current students essentially need the same skills,” Dautcher said, “Students can learn how to position themselves for a job after college, and how to talk about themselves in a professional way. Alumni could use advice on how to transition into those six to twelve months after graduation, and how to balance the start of their careers with grad schools.”

Recent alumni who need help with the job search shouldn’t hesitate to join in. “Your career is a plan, not an event,” Dautcher said. Careers develop over time and take on many different turns before one lands at a stable job. It’s never a straight line.

The Career Development Office urges students not to let this go by. To register online, navigate to The preferred deadline for registration is Wednesday, February 6th.

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