Hendrix College sophomores will soon receive intensive career preparation through a new program called Career Term: Skills for Success After Hendrix.

The career term class will feature a series of experience-based workshops designed to help students get a head start on their career goals and put professional skills into practice. 

"While other colleges offer job skills programs on an a la carte basis, Hendrix is making an intensive career and professional skills program part of its academic calendar," a news release stated.

The Hendrix Office of Career Services will host a two-and-a-half-day pilot version of the career term during winter break for a limited number of sophomores but will expand to include more students the following year; in January 2020, it will be available to all Hendrix sophomores at no additional cost. 

“Career Term is a new model in higher education [and] it’s a much better one for all students,” Hendrix President Bill Tsutsui said. “With one-off skills workshops, students tend to take advantage of them only as graduation approaches.

He said waiting until senior year puts students at a disadvantage for their job market futures.

“We don’t want to see the deer-in-the-headlights stare from seniors during their final semester when we ask them what they’re doing after commencement,” Tsutsui said. “With Career Term, we want students to begin to think about their goals and practice the professional skills they will need to reach their goals before they finish their degree and enter the job market.”

He said the college took a similar approach to hands-on learning when it launched the Odyssey Program in 2005, and through that initiative, every Hendrix student will complete at least three hands-on learning experiences before they graduate.   

“Hendrix was one of the first colleges to really make hands-on learning a core part of its curriculum,” Tsutsui said. “By making Career Term something that every student participates in, we’re applying the same model to career preparation skills that Hendrix pioneered with Odyssey.”

He said the new career term will support Hendrix's current strategic plan goal of 100 percent student participation in an internship or summer research experience by the time they graduate.

Tsutsui said one of the school's $110 million Be Hendrix campaign priorities is a new Center for Career Services that will be “at the forefront of liberal arts colleges nationwide in graduating students ready for graduate training or career-focused employment."

This year’s pilot Career Term began Jan. 11 and will conclude on Jan. 18 following a morning of service projects in the Conway community.

Workshops will cover topics including résumé writing and job interview skills, graduate school planning and preparations, how to find an internship, professional dress and etiquette, networking and personal branding and professional communication.

Career term session leaders will include Hendrix alumni, staff and trustees with expertise in particular areas of skill development and a panel of Hendrix alumni will share their professional experiences and answer students’s career questions and an alumni networking event will help students make vital connections in the professional world. 

Connecting Hendrix students with Hendrix alumni is one of Career Term’s biggest benefits, Tsutsui said.

“Our alumni are an incredible professional resource for students, and they are very eager to help students sharpen skills that will appeal to potential employers,” he said. “They’re proof positive that a broad, hands-on, rigorous liberal arts education from Hendrix prepares students for success after graduation."

To learn more about Career Term, visit www.hendrix.edu/careerterm.