Story by Brian McDonald
Photos Courtesy of The Breeze
Getting admitted into college is an outstanding achievement. For some, that achievement comes with the realization that soon you will be making major decisions for your career. This can be stressful, especially if you come into college unsure of what to pursue. At JMU, the Career and Academic Planning of ce specializes in helping students identify their interests and turn them into job opportunities.
CAP offers many resources to students who have questions or concerns about their career paths. This includes passport events focused on interviews and networking, workshops geared toward skill building in the professional world and one-on-one career counseling. These sessions can be used to go over resumes, cover letters and even curriculum vitae for graduate students.
CAP also puts on “focus” events geared toward helping younger students identify their values and interests to help them choose their major. Undergraduate and undecided students can come to a “focus” event and take a quiz to help them pinpoint their passions. Career educator Molly Crum identi es this as a rewarding event CAP staff looks forward to every year.
“I had a girl who was very on the fence between two majors come to my focus passport event,” Crum says, “and she told me that doing this event really helped push her over the edge to do nursing, and it really made her more confident in her decision.”
Whether you are on the fence or completely unsure of what you want to do after college, CAP has the available resources to help you. Senior Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication major Gabriel Lee recalls how CAP helped get him on the right track when he was unsure of his plans. “I came into college as a quantitative nance major,” Lee says, “but I quickly found out that wasn’t going to work for me.” At the start of his sophomore year, Lee went to CAP for guidance. “I came in to talk to one of the career educators and really tried to explain to him what my interests were,” Lee says. “Once I decided that WRTC was in line with what I wanted to do, he really set me up on a trajectory to help me succeed.”
Through various events, workshops and counseling, CAP’s goal is to give students resources to be more confident in the decisions they make about their future. Career educators like Crum and Julia Johnston want to help you, and are honored to be a part of success stories like Lee’s. “It is extremely rewarding,” Johnston says, “to have someone come in very nervous, and in a short 30-minute span we get to instill a little bit of confidence in them … it’s a free tool and you should know that you have all these resources at your fingertips to help you succeed.”
Career and Academic Planning is located in the Student Success Center (3210).