Center for Vocation and Career (CVC)

Thank you to Dee Pierce, interim director, and Cindra Stackhouse Taetzsch, senior director for Vocation and Alumni Engagement for contributing the following information about the Center for Vocation and Career.
Hours: M-F from 8:30 a.m. — 4:30 p.m.
Walk-in Hours: M-Thurs from 1 p.m. — 4 p.m.
Location: Second floor of the Student Services Building, Room 209
Staff Members:

  • Dee Pierce, interim director
  • Billye Kee, assistant director
  • Deborah Carlson, employer relations manager
  • Sarah Franklin Crose, internship and special events manager
  • Dave Thomson, career coach
  • Lori Hart, office coordinator

What is the vision of the Center for Vocation and Career?

The Center for Vocation and Career is expanding so we can better help students prepare for life after Wheaton. The College has combined three departments, the Center for Vocation and Career, Opus: The Art of Work, and Alumni and Parent Engagement, under a broader department called “Vocation and Alumni Engagement.” Fundraising for an expanded Center for Vocation and Career is part of the “From the Heart, For the Kingdom” capital campaign.
Here are the CVC’s mission and vision statements:
 

CVC Mission Statement

The Center for Vocation and Career equips students to use their liberal arts education to thrive in careers that reflect Kingdom values and lead to flourishing lives that help build the church and benefit society worldwide.
 

CVC Vision Statement

The Center for Vocation and Career prepares students to navigate their career paths by providing resources and opportunities for them to:

  • identify their values, interests, skills and strengths;
  • understand and articulate how their education, training, experience and passions relate to professional aspirations;
  • explore potential alignment of student gifts and passions with career opportunities;
  • develop meaningful connections with and guidance from Wheaton’s extensive alumni and family network
  • develop and pursue a sustainable plan for life after college.

What resources are available to students in the CVC?

  • One-on-one career coaching
  • Group and one-on-one advice for securing and making the most of an internship
  • Recruiting opportunities on campus, at job fairs and through direct referral from the CVC
  • Group StrengthsFinder assessment and review
  • myStory — a tool to guide students through the career and vocational discernment process
  • Big Interview — on-line interviewing resource
  • Wheaton’s new online ThunderCloud Training – thousands of video tutorial courses on interpersonal, creative, professional and technical skills from Lynda.com. This is a phenomenal — and free! — resource for all students.
  • Resume and cover letter review
  • Extensive job opportunities specifically for Wheaton students through ThunderLink
  • Access to thousands of alumni through Wheaton in Network (WiN)

What is the StrengthsFinder assessment and why should students take it?

  • StrengthsFinder is an assessment that helps students understand the unique ways God has wired them. Through a careful review in a group setting, students develop self-awareness about their gifts and talents and the environments in which they will flourish. It is our hope that students will be encouraged as they discover the many ways God has gifted them.
  • According to Frederick Buechner, “The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” When people operate in their Strengths, they are more likely to enjoy what they are doing, and their true selves come alive. It is our goal to help students understand their strengths and explore where those gifts can meet the needs of the world.

Can you tell us about the new program, Canvas?

  • Canvas: Framing Your Vocation and Career is a five-part series designed just for sophomores. Each event includes a meal and our goal is to provide sophomores with an accessible and fun way to start the process of exploring their unique giftings and interests and how those might be used for Christ and His kingdom.
  • Our kickoff event was held a couple of weeks ago and each of the events contains different activities:
    • WRITING OUR STORIES – Tuesday, October 27 – 5:30-7:30 – Coray Gymnasium
      • Over a family-style meal, we will interact with a small group of classmates in a facilitated discussion using individual myStory workbooks. Together we’ll discover and share unique backgrounds, work styles, and dreams, which will generate ideas about possible career directions.
    • TELLING OUR STORIES – Wednesday, November 18 – 5:30-7:30 – Meyer Science Center
      • Resumes. Elevator pitches. LinkedIn profiles. Business cards. This energetic event will be centered on story-telling tools. Faculty from departments requiring unique resumes will be on hand for consultation, and an elevator pitch competition will send one lucky person home with a prize. We’ll also have a photographer available for LinkedIn profile pics!
    • DECLARATION DINNER – Thursday, January 28 – 5:30-7:30 – Coray Gymnasium
      • This inaugural event is an opportunity for the sophomore class to celebrate your chosen majors. A dinner with faculty, alumni, and an inspirational speaker will mark this event as a meaningful milestone for our class.
    • CAREER EXPLORATION WITH ALUMNI – Wednesday, February 24 – 5:30-7:30 – Coray Gymnasium
      • Sophomores will connect with alumni in a range of professions to get advice about how they got their jobs, the skills they use in their positions, what a typical workday looks like, and what they enjoy about their work.

Top tips and advice you have for students interested in stepping into the professional world.

  • Get started! This process can be fun and engaging. It is all about exploring the possibilities. The staff of the CVC is ready to walk alongside you through the journey. Business & Economics professor Bruce Howard encourages students by saying, “You can’t steer a parked car,” and he’s right.
  • God has given you a wealth of skills, abilities and experience and you can bless the world in a lot of different jobs.
  • The only mistake you can make is doing nothing. Otherwise, try something. Your first job won’t be your last job, so don’t worry that you can make a mistake in your decision — it’s not forever.
  • Most people are offered jobs through a personal connection. Explore Wheaton in Network. Learn how to use LinkedIn. Take advantage of the wisdom of the 40,000 Wheaton alumni who have traveled this road before you.

Five unique tips for resumes:

  • Focus on results
  • Tailor your content and format for the employer
  • Pay attention to details
  • Use strong, descriptive action verbs
  • One page only

Five unique tips for interviews

    • It’s not about you; it’s about the organization and what you can do for them.
    • The more you know about the company and the position, and use that information; the more likely you will be successful
    • How you look and deliver information is as important as what you say.
    • It takes STAR (Situation, Task or Action and Result) to be a star interviewer.
    • Thank interviewers within 24 hours or as soon as possible.

Is there anything else we missed that you would like to add, or any additional words you’d like to give to students who are on the fence about whether or not to visit? Wheaton students, the Center for Vocation and Career is here to help give you a clear understanding of what it means to claim God’s calling in your life, and to empower you with the tools and worldwide connections you need to maximize your Kingdom impact after Wheaton.

Photo Credit: Zac Lee
Photo Credit: Zac Lee

Photo Credit: Zac Lee
Photo Credit: Zac Lee

Photo Credit: Zac Lee
Photo Credit: Zac Lee

Photo Credit: Zac Lee
Photo Credit: Zac Lee

Photo Credit: Zac Lee
Photo Credit: Zac Lee

Photo Credit: Zac Lee
Photo Credit: Zac Lee

Photo Credit: Zac Lee
Photo Credit: Zac Lee

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