Three new A.S. Career Advantage events open to students
Associated Students and campus partners have announced three new events to support students in their career development and job placement.
Following the success of San Diego State University's first-ever A.S. Career Advantage event last fall, Associated Students is hosting three more events for students this spring, Feb. 20, March 6 and March 12.
The mission behind A.S. Career Advantage is to prepare students for their short- and long-term career goals, and form connections with peers and SDSU alumni. This year’s activities include a student-to-student peer mentor program, industry networking mixers, an alumni speaker series and funding for career development available to recognized student clubs and organizations.
More information and event details are on the A.S. Career Advantage website.
In advance of the spring events, A.S. President Tarek Morsy and Melvin Ridley II, A.S. vice president of external relations, discussed additional activities for students.
Why was A.S. Career Advantage created for students?
Ridley: As a team we created A.S. Career Advantage with the intention of giving students an extra boost in their future job and career pursuits. As students ourselves, we recognize that finding a job, whether while in school or post-grad, can often be a difficult process. This initiative was created in order to make that process a little less daunting and to ensure that all of our students have all the tools they need to be successful in their future careers. Through A.S. Career Advantage, we aim to better connect students with campus resources, like Career Services while also providing unique opportunities all aimed at boosting a student’s ability to find a job. We hope that A.S. Career Advantage will be a lasting initiative that continues to benefit and equip students with the resources they need to be successful.
Hundreds of students attended A.S. Career Advantage. The kickoff was very successful, as you had more participation than expected. What contributed to this success?
Morsy: The success of the event is a testament to A.S genuinely filling a gap in the SDSU career ecosystem. Students have an intrinsic interest in their career because that is overwhelmingly and unequivocally the most important and pressing reason anyone comes to a university. If we create the environment and space for students, they will be there. All we had to do was make sure that the event was worthwhile — that's easy to do with such aspirational alumni and students did the rest by participating. They set the precedent for all A.S. Career Advantage events. We will continue to put on quality events where students will leave with more career acumen and a higher likelihood of getting a career, hence the name, A.S. Career Advantage.
As a student leader, why are you personally invested in supporting students in this way? Why is it personally important for you to help others with career readiness?
Morsy: I am an average student on campus and my interests happen to be careers. The conversations I’ve had with students throughout the years happen to have been focused around careers. It was not a hard decision for me as A.S. president to make my main priority an initiative that helps 100% of the student population. I’m not serving students on the fringe or students that are outliers, I’m supporting all students who care about careers and their future in society. Until this day, I still haven’t stumbled upon a group of students who come to a university to be unemployed after graduation.
What is being offered through A.S. Career Advantage in the spring?
Ridley: Coming in the spring, A.S. Career Advantage plans to offer a plethora of opportunities for students. A.S. Career Advantage will include student-to-student peer mentoring, industry networking mixers, alumni speaker series, and funding for career opportunities for our Recognized Student Organizations. We’ve already started offering free headshot sessions twice a week at The Backdoor Media Studio. Through A.S. Career Advantage, A.S. hopes to close the gaps that students face in acquisition of their careers. What makes A.S. Career Advantage unique is that it is 100% tailored around the needs and voices of students. Students have the opportunity to provide feedback and directly participate in shaping the resources that A.S. Career Advantage offers. A.S. has always been centered around the needs of students, and A.S. Career Advantage will be no exception.
About 60% of SDSU alumni stay in the San Diego region. How are you involving alumni?
Ridley: One of our biggest initiatives to come with A.S. Career Advantage is our alumni speaker series. We hope to give alumni from a variety of fields the chance to speak to students about their career journey. Alumni will have the chance to share their knowledge and experiences empowering the next generation of professionals.We hope to give students the opportunity to connect and build a personal connection with alumni who may have their prospective career choice. We believe that having these connections is crucial for an individual's professional development and hope that these speaker series will bring new opportunities for both students and alumni. Currently, we are reaching out to as many alumni as we can and want to extend the invite to anyone willing to get involved. San Diego has an extensive network of SDSU alumni and A.S. Career Advantage will bridge the gap between all current and former students.
What do you hope students will gain from their ongoing involvement in A.S. Career Advantage programs and activities?
Morsy: I want students to leave with an understanding first and foremost of the job market and also to have the skillset that makes up the vertical integration process of how to get a career. I want to imbue students with a sense of career importance as early as possible. That way, they can go through trial and error processes before ending up locked in a vacuous, hollow job coupled with the responsibility of paying for living expenses which results in an inability to leave your disheartening situation. I want to set students up for a life of fulfillment and achievement. I understand that these things do not come easily or accidentally; you must engineer your future reality and A.S. Career Advantage is here to help students do that.