Professional & Career Development
Navigating Success: A Recap of Thomas College’s Career Readiness Week Web Director | January 2, 2024

Thomas College partners with Local Employers & Alumni to Give Students Hands-on Experience

Thomas College is known for guaranteeing its graduates a job after graduation. But it takes a lot of work to get there. Thomas College’s Professional & Career Development team works hard year-round to create opportunities for students to prepare them for careers post-graduation.

This October, the Professional & Career Development team partnered with alumni, preferred employer partners, and local businesses to provide Thomas College students with workshops facilitated by seasoned career veterans. The goal was to offer workshops that would give insight into job opportunities, networking, the pathway from student to professional, and how to navigate being a young professional.

“The importance of providing these workshops is beyond measure, as it removes barriers for our students and sets them up for success upon graduation,” said Professional and Career Development Director Amanda Wrigley.

Over 100 students – ranging from first year students to graduate students – took advantage of Fall Career Readiness Week, with some even attending more than one session.

Events throughout the week included:

  • Director of Information Systems Michael Keighley, Manager, ERP & Business Systems, Thomas College alumni Forrest Labbe ’15 and Information systems Supervisor Timothy LeClair ‘03 from Maine General IT joined us to discuss employment opportunities within the healthcare system and the various roles within the organization. They showcased a variety of options for not just healthcare workers, but for students studying IT, Cybersecurity, business, and even more majors.
  • A fan favorite with a total of 19 students attending was an Interview Roulette workshop. Christina Hughes, Recruiter for CIANBRO; Dan Sylvester, Management Consultant at Deloitte; and Mike Duguay, Director of HAIBI and VP of Innovation at Thomas College held a round table discussion about the experience they each have in interviewing. They explained differences in how they conduct interviews, the different formats they may run into, and skills that will best prepare them.
  • PCD hosted panelists Nicole Lazure, JMG specialist at Thomas College, Mikaela Ziobro, Senior Director of Graduate and Professional Studies (MBA), and Ned Ervin, co-owner of Freedom’s Edge Cider in Albion, Maine talked about their unique and diverse work experiences.
  • MEMIC held a lunch and learn on ‘Building your Brand’ – which comes in handy when you are trying to stand out against other applicants.
  • Staff from the PCD office brought students to the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours event for some real time networking with the central Maine community!
  • The week ended on a high note, getting to hear from alum Dean Jackman and friend of the college David Farago from Ameriprise Financial Service who came with a wealth of financial advice including investments as a young professional and how to manage your personal finances. Alumna Alexis Bowman also presented in this session on her path from college student and intern, to being hired for Golden Pond Wealth management. A whopping 40 students attended this session.
  • Elenie White and Stephanie Brown from the Maine Insurance Agents Association Young Agents Committee, Johnny Swan (TC alum) Realtor at Brookewood Realty, and Cliff Hannen from Four Seasons Wealth Management joined us for the final workshop of the week. The three breakout room sessions covered industry specific the variety of paths one could take in the Insurance, reality, and wealth management professions, all industries in which the PCD office provides funding to get certifications and licenses through the FIRE & ICE program.

An employer who participated during the week, Dan Sylvester, management consultant at Deloitte said, “We are in an unprecedented time where competition for jobs at top companies is fierce. Any edge students can gain is vital to their success. Attending Career Readiness programs that focus on interviewing skills, tips and practice scenarios is a giant step in the right direction.”

Career Readiness Week was a success and just a glimpse into what the Professional & Career Development Office has to offer students. The week followed with on-campus Career Fairs for student internships and job opportunities.

“We were thrilled to have such an incredible turnout where this is a relatively new initiative,” said Wrigley. “Truthfully our students are already pretty impressive, and we just give them tools they need to achieve that extra confidence, and if they decide to take advantage of what our office provides then chances are they are going to be successful.” 

A huge thank you to everyone who participated, both employers and students. Another thank you to faculty and staff who encouraged their students to attend these workshops. Stay tuned for what next semester’s Career Readiness Week will entail! If you have ideas or want to participate, please email Amanda Wrigley at [email protected].