By Roger Roldan
Beginning as an idea formulated by two student service counselors in early June, the Job Skills Saturdays service provided at the ELAC campus has been proven to be extremely successful among students in the past several months, said Brent McClair, one of the founding student service counselors.
The relatively new school service provides a range of new job opportunities for ELAC students, transfer and regular students alike, providing opportunities from help with writing resumes for job companies and industries to providing mock interviews for students as a way to practice for the real thing.
“A lot of the times, we encourage students to come in, work on their resume, and come back the next week to work on the cover letter”, McClair said. “While you send in resumes and get an opportunity to meet with people from the job or company, we can do some research on the company and prepare for a mock interview to see if we know what we’re doing.”
These services generally helps students develop important interview skills and write more concise, clear and vibrant resume and cover letters as a way of helping them prepare for a better future by getting into these jobs.
“I and another student service counselor, Ryan Bishop, came up with the idea during Think Tank Thursdays, along with another counselor named Drey Banks, and we put our heads together and think what can we do to get these services out to students, and what can we do with these services to meet the needs of the students,” said McClair.
At his first time at the job skills service office as soon as the service was first launched, McClair recalled that a total of 15 students came into the office with him and another counselor being there, so they couldn’t meet the need at the time.
“A student thanks and appreciated everything that the staff here does for them almost every single time they come here. We are very adamant in this office to make sure that this isn’t the first and last time that we would see you. We would do everything in our power to ensure that we would help you get this job, and that’s part of the reason why I love this job so much,” said McClair.
A wide variety of students, from young freshmen, to middle aged and senior students, come to these services to develop these job skills that these services have available to get into the jobs that they’re interested in, quite a number who come in with no prior job experiences.
“We’ve had a lot of students who came here with no professional job experience and all who come in here for help with their already completed skills resumes feel partly discouraged because they’ve never actually worked before.”, said Mcclair. “But we were able to pull some information out of them and help them complete a working resume so they can have something they can be proud of and use that to actually get themselves into an entry-level job.”
McClair often found himself to relate with the students who come in for help in developing their job skills, as he had done similarly like them when he was younger.
“I remember being 21 years old with my mom helping me complete my resume and remember not having any idea what we were doing or what she was talking about,” said McClair. “I would argue that a lot of the students that come in with no experience or no general consensus is very much something I can relate with from my past experiences.”
The Job Skills Saturdays services are available at E1-176 in the Student Administration Building on campus presented by the ELAC Career and Workforce development program from 9:00am-1:00pm.
It is available on a selected Saturday of the month by the ELAC Career and Workforce development program, with notifications on the exact date being given on the ELAC official online website. To receive further information on the provided services, call (323) 415-4126.