Career center: an unused gem

Every morning, we begin second or sixth period with the daily announcements. We listen to the sporting news or the spirit days’ information, but how often do we listen to the career center announcements? Everyday Liberty students are given a plethora of opportunities: visits from college admission officers, brown bag lunches, field trips, scholarship and financial aid opportunities, application essay help. And let’s be honest, in the long run what will benefit us more, knowing what to dress up as tomorrow, or knowing how to jumpstart your way into college or a career?

Each year our wonderful career center ladies-Ms. Co and Ms. Nystrom-put a tremendous amount of work into helping students get into schools and achieve scholarships. In fact, last year the class of 2012 earned $1.87 million in scholarships. But unfortunately, this number could have been much higher if more of us had taken full advantages of available scholarship opportunities.

It seems like we are always complaining about how long and arduous the college application process is, but the career center is there to support us and make it easier. Nystrom and Co are around every Thursday during lunch to help with application and scholarship essays, and are always willing to help with other aspects of the process. Even sophomores and juniors are welcome-it’s never too early to be thinking about our future plans.

The number of us applying to Western, WSU and UW is undoubtedly over 50 students for each respective school, but how many actually came to the career center for their college visits? 16 to the Western visit, 21 to the WSU visit, and 17 to the UW visit. This is abominable, considering that these visits give us the chance to have a one-on-one conversation with an admissions officer-one of the people who will be personally reviewing our applications.

But students headed to four-year universities shouldn’t be the only ones planning for their futures. Those of us who aren’t as academically oriented should heavily consider earning a technical or associates degree after high school, as it can often lead to equal if not more financial success than earning four-year’s bachelor’s degree. The career center offers opportunities for these students too: this spring, Nystrom and Co will bring a group of students on a field trip to Renton Technical College to explore culinary, auto mechanic, and other technical programs. The field trip will be a great chance to learn more about career options.

Lastly, brown bag lunches offer students the opportunity to listen to workers talk about their careers. From construction managers, to software technicians, to military personnel, many types of careers are represented at the brown bag lunches.

Liberty has a fabulous career center that works tirelessly to serve us. Make sure their efforts are not in vain by taking advantage of the opportunities they provide us with. At the least, visit their website (which is accessible through the main Liberty site).