MORGANTOWN, WV – Holly Hildreth began her journey as the West Virginia Junior College Career Management Director in June 2012.
“It’s the most amazing feeling when I get to see a student’s career ambitions come true,” she said.
The path to job placement begins in Holly’s office where she meets each new student to talk about his or her career goals and any obstacles that may stand in the way of finding in-field employment following graduation.
“We encourage our students to begin working on their soft skills, like professionalism and attitude, from enrollment through graduation,” Holly said. “We also place emphasis on attendance, which all of us know is the number one issue that affects whether or not an employee can keep his or her job.”
Following enrollment, a student will see Holly again if he or she is looking for a part-time position. Holly requests that each student provide her with a work history in order to begin creating a resume. She also team teaches “Student Success Strategies” which focuses on professionalism and building a resume.
Holly is involved in campus activities and gets to know each student personally.
“Each of my students, and graduates, is different,” Holly said. “They all have different dreams, goals and plans. And sometimes, it’s also my job to help my students to form those plans.”
Nearing the end of their time at the WVJC, Holly begins looking for externships for her students.
“This is the perfect opportunity for our students to put both the soft skills and the professional skills to work in a real-life, professional setting,” Holly said. “We receive detailed evaluations from the externship supervisors, which allow us to further address any remaining issues.”
Prior to graduation, Holly has each student in a Career Preparation class where the students finalize resumes, cover letters and references and begin looking for post-graduation jobs. The students apply to positions and sometimes even land interviews during the six-week class. Students work on interviewing skills and often have in-class interviews for real jobs.
Following graduation, Holly’s contact with the student does not end.
“I follow up with my graduates multiple times per week,” Holly said. “I market my graduates to local businesses, and I’m constantly looking for positions for my unplaced graduates.”
Every Friday, Holly hosts, “Career Workshop Fridays,” where graduates can stop by the WVJC to receive one-on-one resume help or to practice interviewing.
“Job placement assistance continues beyond graduation and even beyond landing a job in your field,” Holly said. “Alumni are encouraged to contact the WVJC for help looking for a new job. We can’t land a job for you, but we can offer assistance.”
For more information on graduation rates, median debt of students who have completed their programs, and other important information, please visit our website at www.wvjc.edu/morgantown-programs. Our programs are equal opportunity employer/programs. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.