Resource Library

Career Readiness

By: Col Kenneth Allison, USAF ,Ret.

The Commandant identified career readiness as an essential part of the Corps experience to help ensure cadets attained and demonstrated the skills required to help them successfully transition into the workplace. In the Fall 2013, the Corps of Cadets stood up the Career Readiness Program as a part of the Hollingsworth Leadership Excellence Program. Although the program primarily focuses on cadets who are not entering the military, it supports all cadets regardless of career plans or path. The key accomplishments and impacts of the program are shown below.

Key Accomplishments:

– Developed a strategic approach. Identified career readiness as a strategic imperative. Developed and incorporated career readiness goals, objectives, and metrics into the Corps of Cadets strategic plan.
– Committed resources. Hired a full-time Associate Director to implement the program
– Maximized use of campus resources.
– Teamed with Texas A&M Career Center to provide career services to cadets
– Incorporated aspects of programs from across the campus (such as internships programs)
– Created Hire A Cadet marketing strategy targeting cadets, parents, faculty/staff, employers and former cadets
– Highlighted program in Commandant’s newsletter, the Corps of Cadets Assoc. magazine, and on social media
– Briefed current cadets on the program. Also briefed prospective cadets and their parents during recruiting events and New Student Conferences
– Developed employment opportunities. Built relationships with employers for internship and job-assistance.
– Attended career fairs, engaged the Aggie Network, reach out to former cadets who were recently employed
– Infused career readiness into Corps daily operations and training
– Stood up cadet Career Readiness Officers (CROs) in all Corps outfits and on all staffs. Ensured CROs were all trained to effectively accomplish basic duties.
– Established Corps and outfit-level goals and an recognition program (Career readiness is a component of the annual Commandant Award)
– Devised a Career Readiness Point System to encourage participation and track performance
– Incorporated Career Readiness into all School of Military Science (SOMS) Leadership Courses
– Ensured key career readiness was being addressed early and often. Showcased the importance and relevancy of leadership development and career readiness
– Stood up corporate mentoring program. Matched cadets with industry partners to focus on career readiness
– Developed cadet surveys to assess program impact, strengths, and opportunities

Impact:

– Creating a culture where cadets view career readiness as an essential part of the Corps from Day 1
– 92% of cadets graduating in May ’16 who wanted a job were able to obtain one before graduation (21% nat’l avg)
– Over 500 internships and jobs for junior and seniors cadets in AY 2015-2016
– Forged partnership with 300+ companies to provide internships and job opportunities
– 100% of cadets have resumes in Spring of each academic year
– Over 60 Corporate Informational Sessions this academic year hosted by companies looking to hire cadets

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