The pandemic couldn’t stop students from networking with employers

Liv Colón | Fall 2021

As the world learns to navigate the uncertain times amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Purdue Fort Wayne’s Career Development Center makes adjustments to keep networking and job recruitment assistance available to students.

Located on campus in Kettler Hall room 109, the Career Development Center provides a wide variety of services to students and alumni. The center hosts events that provide networking opportunities such as job or internship fairs and career workshops.

In adherence to COVID-19 restrictions, some events held by the Career Development Center have shifted from in-person to online only.

Assistant Director of the Career Development Center Tracey Hanton said she is still trying to figure out how to navigate the COVID-19 restrictions, but she acknowledges how these changes affect students differently.

“It’s been great for introverts, but for extroverts, it distracts from networking opportunities,” said Hanton, adding her main goal is to help students develop career readiness and networking skills as well as pinpointing what competencies students are lacking as they gear up to enter a career.

“When I think of everything that students need, in terms of looking for a job, I really think of it as a toolbox. I think of all of the pieces really going in to make up that toolbox,” said Hanton, explaining the “toolbox” is composed of the skills and information students learn as they participate and attend events.

Hanton said she believes successful networking happens when students take initiative to make
connections.

“A lot of times the opportunities aren’t just going to be there, you kind of have to go and search them out,” said Hanton, who has been helping students prepare to enter the workplace since 2008.

Hanton said she encourages students to start preparing for their future careers as early as the end of high school.

For first-year students, Hanton said she recommended researching the Freshman Leadership Retreat. Hanton said this event helps students learn practical skills that involve communication and team building– important skills to learn for communicating with employers and co-workers.

Hanton said she believes networking and communicating with employers is a personal responsibility of each student to take ownership of. While the Career Development Center offers opportunities to network with employers, Hanton said ultimately it is up to each student to show employers what they would contribute to the workplace.

Each year the Career Development Center hosts the Mastodon Internship Fair. Hanton said the fairs are excellent for students to showcase the networking skills they have learned and to seek out new opportunities. 24 employers were set to attend the virtual event on Handshake in the fall of 2021 to recruit students for internships, co-ops and jobs.

Students can find information on all events hosted by the Career Development Center on PFW’s events calendar. Students can connect on Handshake for free by registering.

Express your identity with clothes from the ‘Transition Closet’

Sydney Hamblin | Spring 2022

Purdue University Fort Wayne’s Q Center is opening a new addition to their office within the next year called the Transition Closet.

The Transition Closet will be the first physical space in Fort Wayne where transgender or gender nonconforming students can go to find accessible and affordable clothing that matches their gender identity.

The term “transgender” describes people whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth, while “gender nonconforming” is a term used to describe people who do not follow other people’s ideas or stereotypes about how they should look or act based on the sex they were assigned at birth, according to the Sylvia Rivera Law Project.

Jordan Sanderson, coordinator of The Q Center at PFW, said that the Transition Closet will be a way to help students who may be in the beginning of their journey of transitioning and don’t have the funds or resources to obtain clothes that align with how they want to present themselves.

“We just know that there’s a need for something like this. Our community doesn’t have many LGBTQ+ resources, not even just at Purdue Fort Wayne but in Fort Wayne in general.”

Sanderson said the idea was proposed by him and the director of The Q Center, Vic Spencer, but their human services intern, Ashley Kraus, was the one who brought the idea to life.

Ashley Kraus presents her experiences at her human services internship with The Q Center at the human services capstone event.

Kraus said the staff at The Q Center came up with a $6,810 annual budget for staff wages, clothing storage, marketing materials and other miscellaneous supplies. On top of that, The Q Center will also be fundraising and accepting donations to help supply the closet.

“We will do a clothing drive at the beginning and end of each semester when people are packing up to go home for the summer or for winter break and displaying that clothing in the closet.”

According to Planet Aid, the average college student produces 640 pounds of trash annually, the majority of which accumulates at the end of the year during move-out. Most of what students are throwing away is reusable or recyclable and doesn’t need to end up in a landfill.

Kraus said that The Q Center plans on placing donation bins in student housing for students to donate their clothing for a good cause instead of throwing them away.

Within the next five years, Kraus said The Q Center hopes to expand the space and offer these services to the Fort Wayne community.

Sanderson also said that a personal goal of his is to have enough funds to have people come in and occasionally tailor outfits for students.

The Transition Closet at Purdue University Fort Wayne is estimated to open during the fall of 2023.

Starting with our neighbors, Baha’i community looks to build unity in Fort Wayne

An event this weekend is uniting the community with two steps: vision and action.

“Building Vibrant Communities” is all about the oneness of humanity. Together, those in attendance are discussing tangible ways to grow closer as a community.

Born and raised in Fort Wayne, Marisol Sharpe has watched the city grow and is stepping up as a leader to make sure growth continues. Thanks to an initiative organized by the Baha’i community Sharpe is part of, the Fort Wayne conference is one of many happening around the world. Saturday’s focus is on the vision, and Sunday the discussion is all about action.

And the event is far from a lecture. Discussion-based breakout sessions are designed to involve every voice in attendance. Adults, teens, and youth as young as five years old are all invited to join in.

Sharpe said everyone has a part to play in the betterment of the world, and everyone has the option to be a “protagonist” in the effort to make the world a better place.

You don’t have to wait for another conference to be part of the program. One way to practice “oneness of humanity”, Sharpe explained, is to get to know our neighbors. Forming relationships with the people that live around us fulfills the second part of the initiative– action.

“I don’t think we realize– the small acts of kindness, how far those things really go,” Sharpe said.

The two-day conference is Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Breakfast and lunch are provided. Learn more about the efforts of the Baha’i and register for the free event online.

Spring into the biggest events of the semester

This news brief from the Summit City Observer breaks down some activities to look forward to on Purdue Fort Wayne’s campus as the semester wraps up.

If you like a challenge, free food, or hanging out with your friends, Spring Fling has it all this week. Get the scoop in the video, and check out details on the university’s website.

There’s a lot going on for PFW creatives through the month of April. We’re celebrating seniors in the interior design and fine arts programs with special exhibits.

Speaking of seniors, commencement is around the corner for the class of 2022. Where did the time go?

Enhance the document that can land you a career

Chyanne Davis

The Career Development Center at Purdue University Fort Wayne offers many services that can help better prepare students for the work force. Resume and cover letter workshops are just one of the many events held for PFW students.

The resume service is important because you can’t get a job without one, said Tracey Hanton, assistant director of PFW’s Career Development Center.

“I think it’s important [to attend resume and cover letter workshops] because it’s an opportunity for a student to hear the whole of how to put this resume together,” Hanton said. “It’s also an opportunity for them to look at what they might have… an opportunity for them to ask their own individualized questions and then they can go back, make any adjustments they need to, then they can send it back to me and clarify that the corrections were what we discussed in the workshop.”

Resume and cover letter workshops are held throughout the school year, on campus and at the Student Housing Clubhouse. Students in the Endorsed or Passport to Success programs are able to earn career readiness points by attending the workshops.

Workshops for resume and cover letters are only available to current PFW students. However, alumni are welcome to make an appointment with Career Development Center to build resumes and cover letters.

Appointments can be made online, by emailing the Career Development Center at careercenter@pfw.edu, or by calling (260) 481-0689. You can even make an appointment in person at Kettler Hall, Room 109 on PFW’s campus. There is also an option to email your resume directly to the Career Development Center for revision to resumereview@pfw.edu.

When you attend a resume and/or cover letter appointment, it is recommended that you bring a hard copy of your resume and cover letter to be reviewed.

COVID-19 precautions when attending an appointment of workshop consist of wearing a mask and social distancing when possible. If you are not able to attend a resume and cover letter workshop in person, you can also arrange to have a Zoom meeting of the workshop by emailing Tracey Hanton at thanton@pfw.edu.

The website also has tips on how to create a resume, cover letter, and a LinkedIn profile. There are examples of resumes and cover letters available there as well.

If you need help with writing a resume or cover letter and you are a current PFW student or an alumnus, you can attend a workshop or make an appointment at the Career Development Center.

CAMPUS SNOW DAYS

Purdue University Fort Wayne and Indiana University Fort Wayne are closing campus doors until next week.

Wednesday, February 2, Thursday, February 3, and Friday, February 4 there will be no on-campus classes due to the expected inclement weather.

Enjoy the snow days, and be safe!

This campus resource has what you need to succeed

Abby Gehlhausen | 11.6.21

Purdue University Fort Wayne provides a Career Development Center that offers essential resources to students taking steps toward their careers.

According to the Career Development Center’s website, its mission is to “invest in the holistic development of our students by infusing career readiness into our programs and services while bridging the gap between students, campus partners, and employers to positively impact the region and beyond.”

“The purpose really is to help students and alumni develop their career readiness skills,” Assistant Director Tracey Hanton said.

Students can have their resume critiqued by a career counselor, ensuring that it is acceptable for use and follows professional standards. Online career assessments help students narrow in on their personal interests and career path.

The Endorsed Program is a career readiness program that requires students to complete a variety of professional development activities in order to help prepare for the future. An online platform called Handshake helps students find part-time work on and off campus and internships.

The office hosts job and internship fairs at least once a semester, inviting local employers to the PFW campus, which allows students to network and ask questions. Immersion Excursions are events that give students the opportunity to travel to different businesses and connect with current employees and HR representatives.

Diversity Dialogues helps students learn how to navigate a diverse workplace where there are often many cultures and styles of communication. The office also offers alumni panel events where past PFW students share valuable information on how to best prepare for careers while still in school.

“You came here, you spent this money. You want a job. And you want a job doing something that you’re going to enjoy,” Hanton said.

She advised that students begin using the office’s resources early and often in their college careers.

Hanton also said resume building is the most important thing the Career Development Center can offer students “because you can’t get a job without one.”

Antonio Menson, the Purdue Fort Wayne Student Body Vice President of Finance and current senior, said that during his freshman year he was very confident with his resume skills, but decided to have his resume reviewed by a member of the Career Development Center anyway.

“I cannot imagine how employers would look at my resume if I was still using the same old template. I am so grateful for all of the wonderful people that work in the office and all of the work that they do,” Menson said.

Pink Tax: The Hidden Cost of Being Female

Jordyn Bilger

We all know the saying “beauty hurts.” But it might be hurting more than just our feet, it may also be hurting the bank accounts of many women.

It’s no secret that women have experienced different forms of oppression since the beginning of time. From not being able to work outside of the home to not being able to vote, a lot of changes have been made in efforts to get equal rights and treatment for the female gender.

But there is something that women may not be aware of that is part of this ongoing struggle: the pink tax.

This is not something that is like the sales tax applied at a register, but rather it is included in price. This is something that has been around since the 1990’s and continues to be seen in comparing the cost of men’s and women’s products.

Males pay less than females for everyday products 42 % of the time, according to an investigation conducted by personal finance writer Candice Elliot.

This is especially seen in clothing items where women’s clothes are of lesser quality than men’s but are often significantly higher in price. With thinner materials and often less fabric used in women’s clothing, the prices even for the same brand are raised compared to pricing of men.

The reason this higher price is called pink tax is because the color pink is marketed towards females, and some products cost more just for being the color pink and sometimes purple.

This extra cost can give those who struggle with money even more trouble.

“As a full-time college student with not a lot of funds, having to pay extra on almost all of my everyday products just makes it that much harder to save and budget,” said college student Emma Yager.

Are there any brands working to stop the pink tax? In an interview with Glamour, Nitasha Mehta, the head of vendor marketing for Boxed, said that she spoke with the CEO of the company about the difference in pricing. Since then, the company has been working to make fair prices for both genders.

Billie is another company that works to charge women the same prices as men. Almost all women’s razors cost more than mens for a lower quality. Billie is an online razor company that allows women to pay low prices for a higher quality razor and can be purchased as a subscription.

Leah Bourne from Glamour said, “The pink tax is frequently hard for stores to avoid unless prices are lowered by the companies that make the products, and since so many people are unaware of these hidden fees, it doesn’t get talked about too often.

Leslie Owen, a financial advisor for Allen Superior Court, said that she has never really noticed the pink tax because it has just been there for as long as she can remember.

This is something that with more spread of information on the topic, could be changed.

These tests could help end your career search

Ireland Miller

The Career Development Center at Purdue University Fort Wayne provides assessments that concentrate on helping students and alumni match their interests, strengths and education with a satisfying career.

For students who are struggling to pick a major or have little idea of what career they may want to pursue, the online assessments that the Career Development Center offers focus on an individual’s personality, interests, skills and values to help guide them in the right direction.

“It also gives you another way of looking at what you value when it comes to work and how all of that goes into developing your actual career plan,” Assistant Director of the Career Development Center Tracey Hanton said.

Assessments such as the TypeFocus 7 Career Assessment offered through the PFW website are taken online. This assessment prepares participants with questions that help guide them to their desired outcome without making the final career decision for them.

“[Assessment takers] get an opportunity to do what is very important, and that’s research,” Hanton said.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Strong Interest Inventory (SII) assessments are also available to both students and alumni to take with an additional cost of $25 each. These tests are more extensive, giving students an in-depth idea of career options while looking at both the costs and benefits.

No preparation is required to take an assessment, but Hanton said she suggests being in a quiet room paying full attention to the questions for the most accurate test results.

“It is not something you want to spend hours thinking over. You definitely want to make sure that you don’t answer the questions the way you think you should answer them. You just really want to answer them just as they are,” Hanton said.

Assessments do not have to be taken at a certain point in time. Although not required, career assessments can be taken multiple times throughout a student’s life in order to address the question, “Did I change?”

“I think a person should take an assessment when they’re in college, sometimes even before, and depending on what it is that they need, they might take another one in five years,” Hanton said.

Career assessments consider the individual’s answers and generate a list of possible outcomes for their career, keeping in mind their goals and interests. However, the individual’s options are not limited to the displayed results.

“[The assessment] does not eliminate all options. Statistics say we’re going to do about 14 careers in a lifetime anyway,” Hanton said.

When taking a career assessment, individuals can seek help navigating their results by scheduling an appointment with PFW’s Career Development staff.

The information can be found under the Career Development tab on the university’s home page.

Edited by Lydia Reuille

Make career moves with Handshake

Caitlin Laubsch | 10.8.21

Handshake may be just one of many available resources for students at Purdue Fort Wayne through the Career Development Center, but the program has become one of the most heavily endorsed programs by PFW’s Career Development Center.

Handshake is a website that is available to all PFW students and alumni. The platform is accessible online.

The website is a resource designed to help students find jobs and entry-level careers. The program allows a user to follow employers to see their job listings, see reviews of companies by past employees, see how many applicants an employer is looking to hire and more. The platform provides a way to have direct communication with potential employers and see information about career fairs and events.

When a user starts out on Handshake, they can create a profile to share with employers. They can upload a resume, share past job experience, share their skills and even narrow the job preferences suggested to them by industry, job interests and location.

Using the platform, students can set up job interviews, message employers, and create a profile that draws employers to message them first. Handshake suggests jobs based on the profile and the entire program is very customizable and individual. The job search can be narrowed down by location, full-time or part-time, on-campus or off-campus and can even be tailored to help you find internships.

Handshake also includes a “Discover More Students” tab, creating an opportunity for students of similar interests to connect and collaborate with each other.

Tracey Hanton, the assistant director for career development at Purdue Fort Wayne, works in the Career Development Center on campus. She said students are automatically registered for Handshake when they register for their first classes at PFW.

“You can make appointments with our office, you can find out about events that we’re hosting, or events that we are collaborating with,” Hanton said. “But more importantly, because it’s online, you can find events that are online that aren’t even in the area.”

Handshake is unlike any other job-search website, according to Hanton, who said that the employers are specifically looking for PFW students when they register their jobs on Handshake.

“The employers that are on our site, they actually have to register for each school that they want to be a part of to actually post their jobs,” Hanton said.

Hanton also said that Handshake is unique because “[the employers] do have a ranking and a trust score, so if there’s a company on there that somebody has found they are scamming students, we get an alert. Indeed is not going to give you an alert that this company has been scamming students.”

Details on Handshake can be found online.

Caitlin Laubsch | 10.8.21