Ohio University

CLDC, ISFS receive the Commission for Career Services Group Innovation Award

Published: February 14, 2020 Author: Staff reports

The Career Leadership and Development Center (CLDC) and International Student and Faculty Services (ISFS) received the American College Personnel Association's Commission for Career Services Group Innovation Award for their joint project, the International Student Professional Development Conference.

This conference was the result of the departments’ synergistic collaboration, with the teams tapping into each other’s strengths, networks and resources to develop a conference that targeted international students at Ohio University. This award recognized the conference for its innovative way of promoting career services and acknowledges creativity, student impact and success of the program.

Navigating the job search process and developing interviewing skills are among the many rigors faced by all students as they step into the job market.

However, the career development maze for international students also includes navigating work authorization barriers and cultural differences. The International Student Professional Development Conference was aimed at addressing these specific challenges faced by overseas students. 

The CLDC partnered with ISFS to determine a conference agenda that was best aligned with the needs of international students, and they identified speakers that could provide expert information. Among the key highlights of the event were an informative session with an immigration lawyer and a panel discussion with international alumni who shared their experiences about the work authorization process. Dawn Bikowski, director of the English Language Improvement Program, also spoke to students about professional communication and business writing. 

Additionally, the CLDC’s coaches facilitated three workshops from the 21st Century Leadership Training Program and provided resume reviews, professional headshots and an introduction to the CLDC's career management system, Handshake. 

International students also learned about how to eat in a professional American setting at an etiquette luncheon coordinated by ISFS.

“Receiving the award has affirmed the importance of providing this unique professional development opportunity to our international student population,” said Jodi Pavol, the associate director of partnerships at the CLDC. “Our conference planning committee is working towards making the conference even more accessible to our attendees and finding ways to deliver the most relevant and helpful content to the students.”

Faustina Mensah, an international student at OHIO and a graduate assistant at the CLDC, was also part of the team who planned the conference and had unique insights on how to address the career needs of international Bobcats. 

“The whole package offered at the conference was really everything every international student needs to know about how to navigate their career options,” Mensah said. 

Mensah noted that the event helped reduce anxieties about intimidating language and cultural barriers, which she described as some of the biggest challenges international students face. 

“After the conference, international students had gained the confidence to return to the CLDC for walk-in sessions to seek follow-up advice and resume reviews,” Mensah said. 

Based on the success of the first conference, ISFS and the CLDC will host a spring International Student Professional Development Conference day. It will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29.

Students can expect to have the opportunity to earn credit for all three 21st Century Leadership Training Workshops. Visit Handshake for more information

To learn more about the career services the CLDC offers, visit their website. Resources for international students can be found on the ISFS website