College Tours: Know Before You Go

By Rickie Herrera
Career Development Coordinator, Altamonte Springs Campus

Often Seminole State College is not the end of a student’s college career, it is just the beginning. If you plan on transferring to a university after completing your general education from Seminole State College there are some important steps to take. The first step is to declare a major and find out what universities offer that program. The next step would be to compile a list of possible schools and schedule tours to visit those campuses. Taking a college tour can give you a firsthand look into life at the college/university you are considering and help you determine if the institution suits your personality, interests, and career goals.

mapGoing on a college tour and visiting a campus is beneficial because it allows you to determine whether or not you can picture yourself attending that particular university for the next few years of your life. Your education should be exciting, fun, and an investment in your future, therefore you want to be as prepared and as knowledgeable as possible when making this potentially life changing decision.  In addition, college tours will provide you with the necessary information to help make the transfer process easier. Some topics usually discussed during a college tour include financial aid, admissions, career services, housing, scholarships, student life, academic programs and associated program requirements, and testing/assessment. In addition, often times college tours give you the opportunity to engage with current students at that college/university. This is a wonderful time to ask questions regarding the college experience.

You can often schedule a college tour by simply contacting the admissions department of the institution you are considering attending. The Career Development Center is also planning group college tour events, so make sure to check out our events calendar for these opportunities.




Employer Spotlight: Skanska

skanskaSkanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, education, sports, data centers, government, aviation and commercial.  Headquartered in New York with offices in 31 metro areas, Skanska has more than 11,000 employees committed to being leaders in safety, project execution, sustainability, ethics and people development. In 2015, their work in building construction, civil and power/industrial construction, commercial development and infrastructure development (public-private partnerships) generated $7.1 billion in revenue.  Global revenue of parent company Skanska AB, headquartered in Stockholm and listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, totaled $18.4 billion in 2015. Skanska shares are publicly traded in the U.S. on the OTC market under the symbol SKBSY through a Level I American Depository Receipt program.

A warm thank you to Skanska for supporting the career development process at Seminole State College. Learn more about Skanska on their website.


Employer Spotlight: Orange City Fire Department

Orange City Fire LogoThe Orange City Fire Department was established in 1890 and has been proudly protecting its citizens for 125 years. Their firefighters are dedicated to reducing the impact of fire, medical emergencies, potential disasters and uncontrolled events that affect the community’s environment.

Additionally, the department provides fire prevention education and CPR instruction. Orange City Fire Department has offered several job shadow opportunities for Seminole State students and continues to expand its partnership with the College. A warm thank you to Orange City Fire Department for supporting the career development process at Seminole State College.

Internships: Not Just about Getting Coffee

coffee cupIf you think internships are all about getting coffee and making copies, you’re wrong. Internship or cooperative education (co-op) experiences should provide you with an opportunity to gain real world experience in your field. According to the Job Outlook 2016 produced by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), 64.2% of employers prefer to hire candidates with relevant work experience. Likewise, 57% of employers prefer students gain this relevant experience through internship/co-op opportunities. It’s not surprising then that, “those serving internships/co-ops enjoy a distinct advantage in the job market over those who lack such experience. Overall, 56.5% of students who performed an internship/co-op received at least one job offer” (NACE, 2015 Student Survey).

Simply put, completing internship/co-op experiences can put you at a distinct advantage over your peers and give you the relevant skills employers want. Even if you don’t land a job with your internship/co-op employer, you have now had an opportunity to expand your network and build your resume. In addition, internships/co-ops can help you solidify your career goals and put theories learned in the classroom to practice in the real world.  In summary, here are our top  10 reasons to do a co-op/internship:

Top 10 reasons to do a co-op/internship

  1. Learn about the career you’re interested in
  2. Put theories learned in the classroom to practice in the real world
  3. Build your resume—gain relevant experience before you graduate
  4. Get an edge in a competitive job market
  5. Network with future employers/colleagues
  6. Possibly land a full-time job
  7. Enhance your job related skills
  8. Build confidence and competence in your field
  9. Earn college credit*
  10. Possibly get paid

*Wondering about #9…so how do you earn college credit? Check out the steps to get started on our website.  

Once you have determined you meet the eligibility requirements to complete an internship/co-op experience, you can now start searching for, and applying to, opportunities. We recommend that you start by making an appointment with a career counselor via Career Link to have your resume reviewed. If you do not already have a resume, or it’s been awhile since you have updated it, please view the resume resources on our website for guidance. Career Link is also the best place to start your internship/co-op search. In addition to over 300 job postings from our employer partners, you will find resources, such as the A to Z database, that can help you research companies and find further opportunities.


Recognizing Outstanding Student Achievement

Oscar statues Sure, the Academy Awards might have aired a couple of weeks ago, but nominations are just rolling in for our biggest awards of the year. The Career Development Center likes to recognize students who are outstanding representatives of their respective programs and Seminole State College as a whole. One way way to do this is through the Florida Association of Colleges & Employers (FloridaACE) Student of the Year Award. This annual award presents a cash prize to a deserving student who has demonstrated exceptional achievement in the field of experiential learning. Any student of a two or four-year Florida higher education institution may be nominated for this award by a college/university member or an employer member.

We nominated Alfred Jon Sparks (Jon) for the cooperative education/internship experience he completed with The Douglas Company in the summer of 2015. The Career Development Center first had the pleasure of meeting Jon in 2014 when he began as a Construction Management major at Seminole State College. Jon had some serious life changing milestones taking place, such as transitioning from military to civilian life, managing his own carpentry restoration company, and becoming the father of two children. Knowing this was a critical time for his future and the growth of his family, Jon became a frequent consumer of Career Development Center resources and services.

In working with our Assistant Director regarding his cooperative education/internship requirements, Jon was considering using his own company for his experience and was hesitant to explore the private sector. After working almost two years on his resume, Jon had a final draft and, with the encouragement of the Career Center, the confidence to move forward with applying to internships outside of his comfort zone. After several successful interviews with medium and large construction companies, Jon chose to accept an internship opportunity with The Douglas Company, an Ohio based firm. During this 13 week senior internship, Jon excelled by showing “eagerness to learn”, “high assertiveness”, and “iron clad integrity” to the firm’s culture and long-term goals. Jon was nominated for, and ultimately won,  an educational scholarship for his work on an estimating project that resulted in a contract awarded to The Douglas Company. Finally, after the conclusion of his internship,  Jon was extended a full-time position upon his graduation in May 2016.

It is with great honor and pride that the Seminole State College, Career Development Center team nominate Alfred Jon Sparks as the FloridaACE 2016 Student of the Year recipient.

Employer Spotlight: Facemyer

Facemyer logo

Facemyer Air Conditioning and Heating is a premier provider of heating and air conditioning services in Orlando, Sanford and the surrounding Central Florida areas.

They offer a wide selection of residential and commercial HVAC services, including:

• 24 Hour service Residential and Commercial
• Residential and Commercial Maintenance Agreements
• Replacement systems and installation
• Heating system repair & maintenance
• Heating system replacement and installation
• Filter service
• Duct cleaning

They also provide indoor air quality solutions and a variety of accessories to enhance your comfort.

A warm thanks to Facemyer Air Conditioning and Heating for always supporting the career development process at Seminole State College of Florida.

Employer Spotlight: R E Martin Plumbing

Founderemp-verticald in 2007, R E Martin Plumbing’s principals have
decades of commercial, light industrial, new and remodel
custom home plumbing, and backflow certification
experience. Quality craftsmanship and integrity are our
driving force for excellence which has given us the
distinguishing characteristic of R E Martin Plumbing’s
hard-earned reputation. Our approach is unparalleled in the industry. Through building partnerships, we are dedicated to creating trusting and mutually beneficial long-term relationships.

Thanks to R E Martin Plumbing for supporting the career development process at Seminole State College of Florida.