Alumni Panel: Journey to the C Recap

Last week, we welcomed four alumni to speak about their path to clinical social work at our virtual panel discussion, Journey to the “C”, which was co-sponsored by the Mental Health Caucus. The discussion covered an array of topics, including clinical supervision, Institute training, and interview preparation.

Regardless of where each alum started their journey, there were common themes and strategies shared by everyone:

  • Expect bumps in the road, and be open to new experiences.
  • Actively engage in continuing education, trainings, and volunteer work to develop your area of expertise.
  • Seek supervision that allows you to be vulnerable or challenged — this is the most valuable type of supervision, because it will help you to grow.
  • Enjoy the process and experience with your clients and supervisors.
  • Don’t stop learning!

Thank you to our speakers Karisma Ajodah ‘02, Gale Bayer ’87, Jillian DiPietro ’16, and Eric Levanthal ‘02 for their candid insights and advice! Also, much appreciation to Ashley Leeds ’20 for moderating the panel and helping coordinate the event.

For an overview of the panel discussion, review the notes that were taken for the event, which are stored in Career Connect within the Document Library > Workshops / Presentations Folder.

Resources to Support Your Job Search

We know that the job search process can feel even more stressful as we cope with the uncertainty that comes with the impact of COVID-19.

While many organizations are focusing on their own operations, needs, and services during this time, one thing to remember is that the fundamentals of job searching are still relevant.

This includes actively searching for opportunities, particularly through your existing network, engaging in virtual community forums or social media platforms like LinkedIn to increase your visibility, and proactively seeking advice from professionals in the space on how to best position yourself for target roles.

There are also employers that are still actively hiring, including those focused on addressing current public health needs.

For additional insights on strategizing your search, check out the following articles.

Job Search Tips

As many of you begin, or in some cases continue your job and internship search over spring break, keep the following tips in mind:

    • Anticipate delays in employers responding back. The COVID-19 situation is still evolving and many organizations are changing the way they conduct business and deliver their services. The safety of their employees is also a priority, so the hiring process may be delayed. This does not mean abandoning the search. It just means managing your expectations and timeline with getting hired.
    • Be prepared to interview via phone and videoconference. While neither can replace in-person interactions, these opportunities can allow you to review and/or take notes during your conversation and help you stay focused while you are speaking. Check out additional virtual interview tips here.
    • In conveying your strengths, highlight your ability to adapt to changing needs and expectations and/or your experiences working virtually (if relevant to the organization). Flexibility and technical skills are often cited among top attributes sought by employers.
    • Update and strengthen your profile on LinkedIn, a powerful tool for job searching and networking. Start by adding your recent experiences and accomplishments and composing an eye-catching headline and summary that concisely convey who you are and how you can help support an individual or organization’s needs and goals. Additional resources on leveraging LinkedIn can be found on LinkedIn for Students site.

Appointment Updates

We hope everyone is staying safe and well.

In an effort to ensure students seeking career support have access to our services, we are adding additional appointment slots to our calendar. We are also replacing drop-in hours with regular appointment slots for the time being.

All appointments are available via Zoom or by phone. You can request to meet by logging into Career Connect and clicking on Advising > General Advising > Add Appointment. For more detailed instructions on how to book an appointment, please review this tutorial. The site also contains an extensive virtual library of resources. We encourage you to take a look. For general questions, please email swcareer@columbia.edu.

For the latest developments and guidelines shared by the school and university in reference to COVID-19, please refer to the following sites:

Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Federal Job Search Webinars

Did you know that the Recruitment Policy and Outreach (RPO) division of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) provides in-depth webinars on a range of topics, from Finding and Applying for Federal Jobs using USAJOBS, Interviewing, to Writing Your Federal Resume?

Whether or not you plan to pursue federal opportunities, these webinars can provide valuable tips and tools for navigating your job search. Go to the Events page to see the full list of upcoming events. Spaces are limited and fill up quickly, so plan accordingly.