Looking for a new job? MTSU Career Development Center Provides ‘Holistic’ Gateway to Students and Alumni


Holly Allen, a career advisor at the Middle Tennessee State University Career Development Center, right, meets with Ikeia Gaines, a recent MTSU masters graduate, to offer career advice on September 8, 2021, at the center on campus . (MTSU photo by Stéphanie Barrette)

Beka Crocket, director of MTSU’s Career Development Center, wants more True Blue students to take advantage of the many tools and resources available in her office located in the center of campus.

“I often joke that we are the best kept secret,” Crocket said. “Once the students find us, they have a good experience, and we want to make sure that all students know that this service is available to them and that they don’t have to prepare for life outside alone. academics.

Located in Room 328 of the Keathley University Center on campus, the Career Development Center offers a myriad of online and in-person services to help students find the right job for them.

One of its biggest resources – the annual Fall Career Fair – will be held on September 30 from noon to 3 p.m. at the Murphy Center and is now open for registration. It is open to all students and alumni.

“We help with so many things,” Crocket said. “Major confirmation and exploration; to obtain a job or an internship; curriculum vitae, cover letters and interview preparation; free work clothes and the organization of events to get in touch with employers.

Originally from Colorado, Crocket received his undergraduate degree in agricultural education and his master’s degree in education with a focus on counseling and career development from Colorado State University.

Since joining the Career Development Center in 2019 and becoming a Director in 2021, she has started pursuing her Ed.D. through the College of Education.

Crocket admitted that she fell into her own career in higher education while working for the government as a case manager and career coach for those assisted.

“A friend who knew I had an agricultural background and a passion for helping people encouraged me to apply for a job at Colorado State,” she said. “I have (applied) and worked in higher education for over 10 years. Walking alongside students to help them find their way… and their next or first job is such an honor.

Crocket prides itself on the centre’s holistic approach to supporting students.

“(It’s) not transactional, and we are able to have very impactful conversations with students about potential careers based on our motivation to help them identify their personal values ​​and interests,” he said. she declared. “We have no limit on how many times we meet them, and we’re also here to encourage them even if they are alumni and potentially have careers in transition. ”

Crocket underscored the centre’s message to the campus community: it is open and the staff are waiting to serve you.

“Visit us early and visit us often!” We are here to help! ”

‘I say start now’

Ikeia Gaines, a recent master of criminal justice administration graduate, did not take full advantage of the career center early on.

“I’ve heard before about the opportunities that students could get using these services, but I honestly thought I would have to graduate first before I could work in the field,” Gaines said.

Gaines soon realized that she could use the centre’s services right away – more than a year before she was about to graduate. With support from the center, Gaines secured a full-time position as a probation officer in Marshall County, Tennessee.

“I was able to broaden my experience in the field of criminal justice and learn different things about the justice system,” she said. “I have been working for a year and a half and I am very grateful to take advantage of the opportunities that have been offered to me.

Gaines recommends an early start approach, alongside studies, for all students.

“You should start early,” she encouraged, “even with internships. This way, you gain enough experience that when it comes time to graduate you will have met the minimum experience requirements.

Gaines also said his experience with the center was excellent.

“They were understanding and welcoming! she said. “Having someone help you who is honest, reliable and who works in a timely manner is a great resource. I received great feedback and resources to use to advance my career…. I still use the Career Center portal (now) to search for part-time positions that are available.

To learn more about the Career Development Center’s many services and receive immediate online assistance, visit the website at https://mtsu.edu/career/ and follow the center on Instagram and Facebook.


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