For years, within the halls of the Hyrum Manwaring Center, the BYU-Idaho Career Center looked like another door down a hallway that everyone passed by. Now, it can’t be ignored.
Foot traffic rarely ventured into the small hallway in their first location on the first floor. The center was previously located behind Soleil, which most students knew as the MC bagel shop.
Now located on the second floor of the Manwaring Center, directly across from The Crossroads, the new BYU-I Career Center is fully functioning and ready to help students within the entire BYU-I network. It has been fully renovated into a modern and open office, with lights and wood accents resembling an oak tree.
The Career Center utilizes networking tools, such as LinkedIn and BYU-I Connect, to connect with current and past alumni in various industries. When the Career Center reaches out to an alumnus in a certain company, current students have a chance to contact them and conduct informational interviews to create a relationship with that mentor.
Students are able to take a tour of the Career Center to become versed in the different tools used in person, over the phone or through a video call to help them with their specific needs.
“The Career Center is designed to help students get either an internship or a job,” said Sheila Wener, a career services operations manager. “Internships are everywhere and the Career Center provides the right tools to seek them out.”
Wener explained that students have the abilities they need to be marketable and that the Career Center helps to magnify each of those important interviewing skills.
“I love to see the impact on the students when they take advantage of the resources here,” Wener said. “When they tell me ‘Thank you for looking at my resume and for teaching me how to interview,’ all I am doing is helping them learn for themselves how to be marketable.”
Wener has seen many success stories at the center. She said that when students tell her they got job offers, it is the most exciting feeling in the world.
Wener also explained that on the Career Center’s website, there are three main tools that students can get familiar with: VMock, Handshake and BYU-I Connect.
VMock is a program students may use to gain real feedback on their resumes. By simply uploading a resume, instant feedback can be provided to assist thousands of students at a time. If students need further assistance, the Career Center provides in-person or remote feedback to help form the perfect resume for a specific employer. Students may also go to the Career Center website for help.
“BYU-I Connect is a networking tool we want to encourage all students to use to find alumni mentors and build their network,” Wener said.
Kingsley Adzagah, a junior studying construction management, shared a story about his successful experience working with the Career Center.
Adzagah knew from the start of his college career that he needed to get contacts from other construction companies and that he needed to prepare as soon as possible for his future. After months of networking through BYU-I Connect and LinkedIn, he got contacts and a few interviews, but he never received a yes.
“I always thought I was a good student, but I applied for two years with no success,” Adzagah said.
Interview after interview went by, and Adzagah went to Natalie Macbeth in the Design and Construction Management Department for advice. Macbeth suggested going to the Career Center, so that’s exactly what Adzagah did.
When Adzagah went he met Wener. She and Adzagah went over small things that he knew how to do but helped him develop other skills. After he spent time in the Career Center, Adzagah started to have wins.
“I applied all the things I learned from the Career Center,” Adzagah said. “I took my resume to the Career Center, I started getting calls, and that was like super weird because I had people coming and calling me. By the end of the week I had six interviews. By the end of the interviews, I had four offers.”
Adzagah mentioned that all he had to do was submit his resume to Handshake and the Career Center and he got contacts from different companies. He now interns at one of his dream companies: Howard S. Wright Balfour Beatty US.
Derek Fay, Career Center managing director, explained that students can get started with a few steps at the Career Center, and also earn a shirt for completing these simple steps.
“This invitation is called the Become Mighty Challenge,” Fay said. “All you need to do is first take a tour of the Career Center. Second, Register for VMock and upload your resume. Third, sign up for Handshake and last, create a profile on BYU-I connect.”
Fay explained that students will earn a shirt after these four steps are completed. If they can invite 10 friends, there is a possible prize for a sweatshirt. By that time, students will be well-versed in what the Career Center can do for them and how they can benefit from the resources provided to them.
“Every student can change their life with this center,” Fay said. “Students are given all the necessary tools and people to make lifelong differences. As soon as a student comes and sees what they can do with our help, they will find something that they didn’t even know they were looking for. This center, with all of its resources and people, helps people get real jobs from the companies they want.”
To find out more about the Career Center and how you can find an internship or a job, set up an appointment by calling 208-496-9801 or email the Career Center at firstname.lastname@example.org. Students can also simply walk into the new office located on the second floor of the MC across from The Crossroads.
Students can find out more about VMock, BYU-I Connect, and other helpful tools by visiting the Career Center Website.