After three and a half years at Michigan State University and with a degree in Professional Writing under her belt, 2020 graduate Jill C. is looking forward to beginning her career. Having utilized the one-on-one guidance and professional preparation offered by the Bosco MSU-MRS Careers Collaborative (CC), she feels confident in her ability to identify jobs that align with her goals, and to navigate the interview process.
The Careers Collaborative is an RCPD program launched in 2014 through private gifts from Michael and Kathy Bosco matching state and federal funds in partnership with Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS). The Collaborative strengthens leadership with a focus on career transition for students with disabilities, providing them with a full-time on-campus vocational rehabilitation counselor and specialized guidance intent on career outcomes.
Jill joined the Collaborative after her RCPD Ability Access Specialist, Grace Tong, suggested the services would be beneficial for her post-graduate career search. The support which Jill received from the resulting guidance sessions helped alter her perspective (and therefore her confidence) surrounding job interviews. Previously she has assumed that interviewers were always looking for one correct answer, but after working with the CC counselor, she came to realize that that isn’t always so, that she does know what she is doing, and that she is in fact doing great!
Expressing gratitude for the individual, open, and personal relationships she developed with RCPD and CC staff, Jill said she felt they both encouraged her and validated her competence. “Individual meetings helped normalize the job interview process,” she explained. “[They] treated me like a friend, which took off a lot of stress and pressure about job interviewing.”
Even though applying for jobs is anything but normal during a worldwide pandemic, the skills she gained from her experience with the Collaborative have allowed Jill to see COVID-19 as an opportunity to escape her comfort zone and broaden her search to include jobs she may not have previously considered. Jill said: “I realized I have a bigger network than I think that I did of people who would be willing to step up and help.”
For students like Jill, joining the Careers Collaborative is a significant first step toward attaining job readiness skills and affirming abilities needed to be successful in the workplace. On Jill’s journey, she discovered that resources were available to her in ways she hadn’t thought possible. As she prepares to move on from her college experience, embarking upon the next stage of her life, she leaves behind some words of advice for fellow students: “I encourage people to try to seek out help and talk to people who they feel comfortable talking to about their situation.”
To learn how you can contribute to important programs like the Bosco MSU-MRS Careers Collaborative, please visit our Make a Gift page.