Career Week broadens student horizons

February 24, 2016 / by / 0 Comment

By Jeannette Cruz
GCU News Bureau

It’s time for students to polish their resumés, pick out their nicest dress clothes, shine their shoes and wear their best smile. It’s time for Grand Canyon University’s Career Week.


Attending the job fair during Career Week offers a way for students to network with employers. (Photo by Darryl Webb)

GCU’s Career Services will provide a mocktail reception and etiquette dinner Tuesday, assistance with resume writing and interviewing skills Wednesday, a job/internship fair Thursday and an opportunity to interview with GCU human resources professionals on Wednesday, March 9.

Jacqueline Smith, director of career services, said the events are beneficial to students and alumni who are looking to land a job or an internship.

“We know more and more students are doing off-campus jobs, internships or part-time jobs just to make sure they’re in,” Smith said. “At GCU we are preparing our students to get up and get out into the workforce.”

At the mocktail reception and etiquette dinner, from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, students will learn how to tie a necktie, give a proper handshake and use proper dinner table etiquette.

“It’s a wonderful event where students get to experience a very formal dinner,” Smith said. “We want them to feel comfortable and confident that they have the skills to represent themselves well.”

And before students meet with employers, Career Services will review their resumés and help them practice their interviewing skills during a half-hour session with an adviser from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday.

With 150 vendors already registered to participate during the job/internship fair, Smith said companies arrive at GCU determined to hire its students because the school offers a unique feel that other job fairs fall short of.

“They come here and they say there is something different and special here, so they want to be here,” Smith said. “We have students that really focus on finding their purpose. We’re not just here to sign them up for class. There is something powerful here — we prepare students socially, spiritually and professionally and produce students who are passionate in what they are doing.”

Participating companies include Abrazo Healthcare, UPS, Boeing, the Department of Economic Security, Food for the Hungry, General Motors and the U.S. Census Bureau.

An etiquette dinner is designed to teach students how to conduct themselves at business meals. (Photo by GCU Career Services)

At the final event on March 9, human resource recruiters and hiring managers from various departments around campus will be at the Career Services office to interview potential employees.

“Grand Canyon University likes to hire recent graduates and alums because they emulate everything that we stand for,” Smith said. “We get hundreds of students who line up dressed professionally with a resumé waiting to meet these hiring managers.”

Last year, Smith said, the University hired 55 graduates, and Career Services hired three.

Samy Carlon, a student services adviser at GCU, participated in Career Week for four straight years while she was still a student. Carlon was hired in 2014 shortly after graduation.

She said she believes she owes it to Career Services for amplifying her resumé and continues to direct her students that way.

“I thought my resumé was pretty good, but I knew I needed to have other eyes look at it,” she said. “They were super helpful, knowledgeable, and it helped me a lot to see the errors and flaws I had missed.”

Clint Leavitt, also a student services adviser, participated in the Career Week activities last year, when he was a senior. While he had an average resumé, Leavitt said he learned to market his personality.

“In creating relationship and being sure that the particular employer had an opportunity to remember my face and my general aura as an individual, I was able to separate myself from the multitudes of students that those employers spoke with on those days,” he said.

To be successful in the job fair, Smith recommends that students dress professionally, have in mind which questions to ask a company and prepare a 30-second introductory speech.

“That first impression is very powerful,” she said.

Space for the mocktail reception and the resume review is limited. Students are required to contact Career Services at or 602-639-6606 to make reservations.

Contact Jeannette Cruz at (602) 639-6631 or

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