Students considering careers in counseling gathered Thursday, March 17 to hear from and network with successful professionals in the field. Regent University’s Career Services team partnered with counseling student organization Chi Sigma Iota (CSI) to bring seven panelists to campus to discuss their experience, and advise job-seekers of what employers are looking for in potential new-hires.
“We want to expose students to Clinical Mental Health career possibilities and best practices for obtaining those positions,” said Fathom O’Flaherty, an event organizer and CSI chapter vice president. “Career Services is collaborating with us to help, encourage, coach and equip students in their professional development, by providing them with valuable resource tools for résumé building, interview techniques, strengths assessments, spiritual assessments, internship assistance, and employment networking opportunities.”
Now in its second year, the event drew students from across campus and online to ask questions, interact and network. Panelists represented directors, counselors and clinicians from Virginia Beach Psychiatric Center, Commonwealth ICT Services, Hampton Roads Regional Jail, Compass Youth and Family Services, Western Tidewater Community Services Board, Norfolk Public Schools, and Peace by Piece Psychotherapy, LTD. They discussed what content draws them to or drives them away from résumés, and described what a typical day at their job entails.
The panel discussion was broadcast live through Regent’s classroom technology. Organizers say this mix of on-campus and online learning is what sets Regent apart from many other schools. CSI’s president and treasurer are online students. They worked with O’Flaherty to invite panelists, plan a lunch menu, market the event and manage the online chat room.
“The students were pleased with the information they received regarding best practices for résumé creation, interview strategies, importance of their personal and professional image on their social media sites, internship information, residency expectations, the value in volunteering for community agencies, and employment opportunities,” said O’Flaherty. “Additionally, our panelists enjoyed participating in the event, sharing their professional knowledge, and creating an alliance with our students and Regent University’s community.”
CSI is already looking forward to inviting panelists to next year’s event. More than 75 people participated in the lunch-and-learn networking event.