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New Career Guidance System
Alumni Spotlight
Polish Your Brand
Career Event

 

Volume 6  |  Issue 1

January 2016

 
 

JUST IN TIME FOR RESOLUTIONS:
West Launches NEW Career Guidance System

Western International University (West) is committed to assisting our students and alumni in all aspects of their careers, and—just in time to help you plan those New Year’s Resolutions—we’re excited to introduce your ALL-NEW, one-stop, online West Career Guidance System! See the Upcoming Career Event article below to register for our career event/webinar on Wednesday, January 27, where you can also learn more about the Career Guidance System. No need to wait though—you can start working with the new system right now, by logging in to west.edu/alumni and clicking the Career Tools link. Then bring any questions to the event.

READ MORE About West Career Guidance System >>

Whatever your career status—from job-seeker to career advancer—West Career Guidance System offers a complete source of detailed, step-by-step how-to information, to help you improve your ability to market yourself to employers and best showcase your relevant skills needed for today’s jobs. The easy-to-use 10 Career Milestones still include online resume builder and cover letter tools, with feedback from professional career coaches along the way—and we’ve added so much more!

You can now find step-by-step tips, tools, and videos from career experts and hiring managers to help you be more efficient and effective in your professional development strategy, including:

  • Research careers and job data, and set your goals.
  • Build your skills and your personal brand through your online presence.
  • Network like a pro.
  • Plan and execute your strategy.
  • Search and apply for open positions.
  • Customize your resume and cover letter for each position.
  • Track and follow up on your applications.
  • Prepare for the interview.
  • Connect directly with professional career coaches along the way for review and feedback on your resumes, cover letters, and interview preparation.

In addition, the new Resume Builder tool makes creating and editing resumes even simpler.

  • You can easily create and save multiple versions of your resume, using sample resumes found within the tool.
  • You can import an existing resume to create and edit professional and targeted resumes more efficiently.
  • A new Resume Notes section allows you to paste a job description within the tool for easy viewing, to create a targeted resume for a specific job opportunity.
  • A new resume checklist helps you fine-tune before completing your resume, and then you can submit your resume for review by a professional career coach.

We are excited to bring you the all-new West Career Guidance System and look forward to supporting you on your career path. Explore the new system right away by logging in to west.edu/alumni and clicking the Career Tools link. Then bring any questions to our career event/webinar on January 27. (See the Upcoming Career Event article below for details.) In the meantime, if you have any questions, our advisors can assist you—just call (866) 948-4636 or email inquiries@west.edu.

2015 West Career Guidance System

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT:
JESUS CAMPA
Distribution Public Involvement Representative
Salt River Project (SRP)
Tempe, AZ

In his role at SRP, Jesus Campa helps shape communication with diverse audiences to encourage stakeholder involvement and garner public support during the utility siting process and other public projects that impact the utility's municipal, commercial, and residential customers. A 2010 West graduate who earned his Bachelor of Science in Business with a Minor in Management, Jesus discusses the benefits he has received through higher education.

READ MORE >>

Why did you decide to pursue your degree at West?
After taking some time off to travel after high school, I realized that I needed to continue my education. I heard about West through my employer while working full time as customer service representative at SRP. I ultimately chose West because their program best fit my needs as a working professional.

What did you find most valuable about your West experience?
One of the courses I took early in my West education was called Doing Business in a Connected World. My professor was an exceptional instructor who encouraged me to continue my education and pursue my long-time goal of a career in international relations. Even after the course ended, he reached out to me on more than one occasion to see how I was doing academically and personally. He is only one example of my time at West which provided me the opportunity to learn from professors who truly cared about their students.

What were the benefits to you of earning your degree?
I started at SRP with a job. Obtaining my bachelor degree has helped me to develop a career path within the company.

What are your plans for the future?
I am completing my master degree in international security from one of the state universities, and I hope to apply my academic and career skills toward a career in international relations. I also hope to volunteer in the community to help spread the word about the importance of education.

What would you tell a friend who is thinking of going back to school?
In today’s world, obtaining an education is vital. I always encourage anyone I can to continue their education, even after their undergraduate program. If your employer offers tuition assistance, it is a great investment for both of you.

Jesus Campa

CAREER CORNER:
Polishing Your Personal Brand

A New Year is a great time to make a fresh start, and many of us look at steps we can take toward improvements in our relationships, activity levels, organization or time management skills, or other goals of every kind, shape, and size. Kathryn Scahill, NCC, DCC, a professional career coach and university Director of Career Coaching, suggests that it’s also a great time to take a look at the way others may view us, through the lens of our personal brand. Think of it this way: Your personal brand is your unique promise of value and is essential to your overall career planning, whether that includes a job search, career change, or simply ongoing professional development. Read on for her tips, and to find out how the 10 Milestones in our new West Career Guidance System can help.

READ MORE >>

Brand Basics
No matter where you are in your career planning, it’s likely that you have a resume [Milestone 3], a basic LinkedIn profile [Milestone 4.4], and have written at least one cover letter [Milestone 6]. In addition, you may have developed an elevator pitch [Milestone 4.2] to use at networking events and career fairs, as well as refined your LinkedIn summary and headline. All of these components are part of your personal brand that can help propel your career forward.

Build Your Brand Statement
Developing your brand also includes evaluating and defining your unique skill set [Milestone 2], articulating your goals [Milestone 1] and determining your target market [Milestone 8.2]. Once you have considered your skills, goals and target market, you are ready to develop your personal brand statement [Milestone 4.1]. This can be used as the outline for your elevator pitch, as well as to create and enhance your LinkedIn summary. Taking the time to complete these activities to uncover your specific personal brand will set you apart from the competition by helping to focus your efforts and more effectively market yourself.

Look Online
It’s also very important as you develop your brand to evaluate your overall online presence. Type your name into a search engine, and ensure that any information that can be easily found is accurate and professional. Employers routinely review the social media profiles of candidates being considered for open positions, so it’s essential that your online presence accurately reflects your personal brand.

Brand Management
In addition, you can take charge of your career by staying committed to building and maintaining your brand. Here are some suggestions to stay on track:

  • Once a month, check up on your network and make sure that you do something to add value—write an unsolicited LinkedIn endorsement for a colleague, share an article, or simply say hello to different members of your network and ask how they are doing.
  • Review and revise your resume quarterly, or at a minimum, annually.
  • Twice each year, plan to schedule a new skill or activity—a workshop, a class, a new professional or volunteer project, etc.
  • At least once a year, step back and ask yourself your brand strategy questions to make sure your activities are keeping you on the right track [Milestone 4.1].

Brand Pitfalls
Many individuals make the mistake of making no effort to actively manage their brand once they have achieved a career milestone. Unfortunately, this approach causes individuals to do nothing about their career development until they absolutely need to. They may dust off the resume when it’s time to apply for a job, but never consider updating their skills or continuing to build and maintain their network until a need or crisis arises.

Take Action
In today’s economy, individuals must engage in continuous learning and constantly build their personal brand and network to stay prepared for unexpected career changes and advancement opportunities. As we start off a new year, it’s a great time to think about your personal brand and how you can leverage it to reach your career objectives.

See the Upcoming Career Event article below to register for our Personal Brand career event/webinar on Wednesday, January 27, where you can learn more. Better yet, get started now by logging in to west.edu/alumni and clicking the Career Tools link. Then bring any questions to the event.

Kathryn Scahill, NCC, DCC

UPCOMING CAREER EVENT:
Discover & Communicate Your Personal Brand

Join professional career coach Lindsey Fisher on Wednesday, January 27 (at the West Tempe campus and online) for an informative session on personal branding, the foundation of career development. In this interactive workshop, you’ll:

  • Learn what a personal brand is.
  • Identify the personal characteristics associated with your brand.
  • Develop your personal brand statement.
  • Learn how to incorporate your brand into your career marketing strategies.
  • Learn how to evaluate and enhance your online presence.
  • Identify branding resources in the West Career Guidance System.

DATE Wednesday, January 27, 2016
TIME 5:30–7:00pm MST:
Networking, 5:30–6:00pm
(Campus; complimentary light refreshments will be served.)
Workshop, 6:00–6:45pm
(Campus & Online)
Q&A, 6:45–7:00pm
(Campus & Online)
WHERE West Tempe Campus & Online*
  Webinar link will be emailed upon registration.
RSVP
hue.haslim@west.edu

See the above articles on Polishing Your Personal Brand and the West Career Guidance System for related information, and plan to attend Lindsey’s workshop to launch your career planning for 2016!

Lindsey Fisher, MSC, NCC, LAC holds a Master of Science in Counseling/Community Counseling from University of Phoenix, is a Nationally Certified Counselor, and a Licensed Associate Counselor in Arizona. Lindsey has worked with Apollo Education Group for 3 years as a professional career coach for Western International University students and alumni. She enjoys helping clients define their interests, identify objectives, create workable plans to achieve them, and develop a professional online presence, as well as supporting and motivating clients as they embark on their career journeys and reach their intended goals.

Lindsey Fisher, MSC, NCC, LAC

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SHARE THE WEALTH WITH A FRIEND!
You'll Both Receive Credit.

Do you know someone who, like you, has the desire to reach their academic and career goals? Send them our way through the West Alumni Referral Program. We believe that all of our West alumni are leaders, no matter your position or title—and true leaders help the people around them to grow and succeed in reaching their goals, whether they are employees, co-workers, family members or friends. Make your introduction, and we'll take care of the rest.

To honor your commitment to West, we would also like to help those in your circle of influence complete their educational goals. Not only can those you refer try West risk-free;** they will also receive the benefit of a $250 tuition credit upon successful completion of each of their first 8 courses ($2,000 maximum)—simply because you referred them! And as a West grad, you can also receive this same benefit when you re-enroll for a new West degree! For details, contact a Student Advisor at 866-948-4636 or inquiries@west.edu. Refer a friend, family member or colleague today as a step toward a better, brighter tomorrow. Share the wealth!

SAVE THE DATE:
Everyone is a Leader! Webinar

Plan to join West online Tuesday, February 16 at 5:30 pm MST for a leadership webinar presented by West graduate Dan Corcoran. Watch your email early in February for details.

CONTACT US
Hue Haslim
Alumni/Career Resources &
Senior Director, University Engagement

602-429-1078 or hue.haslim@west.edu

Alumni Reenrollment
866-948-4636 or inquiries@west.edu

602.943.2311

866.948.4636

west.edu


For more information about our programs, including on-time completion rates, the median debt incurred by students who completed their programs and other important information, please visit: http://www.west.edu/online-degree-programs

Western International University is a registered service mark of Apollo Education Group, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

** New students who have not attended a Western International University (West) course in the past 365 days, and West bachelor graduates enrolling for a new West master degree. Will be a required course as determined by your program of study. Western International University is unable to enroll residents of Massachusetts. Certain programs are not available in all locations or in both online and on-campus formats. Please verify program availability with a University representative.

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