On Tuesday, May 14, the University of Redlands will host its first career expo specifically geared toward those looking to enter to the field of education. Potential employers from various educational organizations and school districts will be available to engage with students and answer questions from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. in U of R’s Orton Center.
Kristin Grammer, who works in the School of Education’s Office of Student Success and serves on the University’s Career Advisory Board, says the idea for the event grew out of a school-wide effort, led by Dean Andrew Wall, to help students connect with employers in the field of education.
“The Office of Student Success constantly aims to provide resources and guidance for students to promote informed decision-making processes related to their academic and professional journeys,” says Grammer, who, in addition to being one of the four assistant directors of academic advising, is charged with finding common ways to promote education students’ professional growth. “We are eager to collaborate with both internal and external constituents that provide resources and information for our students.”
On the other side of the collaboration is U of R’s the Office of Career and Professional Development (OCPD). OCPD Executive Director Kelly Dries has been working with Grammer to source employers for the event through Handshake, the University’s career management and recruiting portal. So far, nine organizations that hire teachers, school counselors, and administrators—including Los Angeles and San Bernardino City Unified School Districts—have signed on.
Ahead of the expo, students are encouraged to visit the career studio in the Armacost Library to prepare for the event. Along with cover letters and resumes, Dries and her team can assist with elevator pitches that can turn an introduction to a potential employer into a conversation about the future.
“Going into the Expo, students should have a plan for who they want to talk to, which should be informed by research they’ve done ahead of time,” says Dries. “We can help them determine a strategy based on the job they’re looking for and guide them on follow up with the organization after the event.”
The expo is also a chance for undergraduate students to explore potential career paths. Even if graduation is not imminent, the event serves as an opportunity for students to network with organizations and make connections in their areas of interest. Dries hopes that employers will witness the caliber of U of R students and look for opportunities to hire them.
“We want students to think outside the box,” says Grammer. “There are so many opportunities and channels for education—public, private, charter, e-learning, magnet schools, and so on. The field of education is changing, and this expo is an opportunity to learn more about it.”