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Preparing for a Career in a Global Job Market: Advice from HCC’s Associate Director of Career and Employment Counseling

Q&A with Dave Tirpak, Ph.D., associate director of career and employment counseling at HCC
Dave Tirpek

Q: How do experiences outside the classroom help students prepare for a career in today’s global job market?

A: Internships, volunteer opportunities, service learning projects, and study abroad experiences help students make the connection between what they are learning and what is happening in the world. When new graduates are applying for jobs, they can set themselves apart if they show they are ambitious, goal oriented, and eager to learn. A resume that includes extracurricular activities shows these characteristics and during an interview, students can illustrate their decision-making skills, adaptability, and flexibility for a potential employer.

Q: Why is it important for students entering the job market today to have an understanding of cultures and business practices outside of the U.S.?

A: Businesses both in and out of the United States are becoming more diverse. Those who have some knowledge about how a business operates from a multicultural standpoint will stand out in the interview process. Students can gain that knowledge in a number of ways, such as by taking courses with a global or international perspective, studying a language, or participating in study abroad.

Q: How important is it for students to come out of college with diverse language skills?

A: Employers are looking for language diversity to be spotlighted on a resume. Everyone from social workers to educators and lawyers to public health officials find themselves in need of a translator more often.

Q: Are there other ways to teach and learn communication and decision-making skills?

A: If you are curious, you can learn just about anything online, 24/7, even how to drive a car. But you will learn a whole lot more by getting behind the wheel. The same is true for soft skills – like decision-making, communication, and adaptability. You can read about them and practice them in the classroom, but unless you are in a situation where you actually have to use them, you are not going to have a full understanding of the importance of these capabilities. This is why HCC is committed to providing our students with an abundance of opportunities to learn by experiencing.

Topics: Career Focus
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