Jana Mathews

Career and Life Planning

Graduates of liberal arts colleges have all of the skills that employers are looking for in new hires. Helping students to communicate the value of their majors and degrees to prospective employers has been--and continues to be--one of the most rewarding pedagogical experiences of my professional career.

In 2012, I partnered with Anne Meehan to develop and pilot a 2-credit career and life planning course targeted to first and second-year Humanities majors. The 2013 iteration of our course was linked to a parallel course taught at the University of Richmond. The runaway success of Careers in Humanities inspired us to expand and develop a sister course--Making any Major Marketable--for all majors. Over the past 5 years, Making any Major Marketable has grown from serving under 15 students a year to close to a 100. 

In 2015, Anne and I developed and piloted a week-long intensive Job Market Bootcamp course for graduating seniors. In this course, students get brush-up tutorials on LinkedIn, resume and cover letter writing skills, learn job interview techniques, participate in workshops on salary negotiations, benefits packages and post-graduation financial planning and budgeting. The course concludes with a mock networking event with college alumni.

On a broader campus-wide level, my work on career and life planning issues includes serving as the co-director (with Norah Perez) of Rollins's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Development Committee. Our multi-disciplinary group was charged with leading the College through the process of devising a 5-year plan to integrate career and life planning into our faculty-student advising model. Since rotating off that role, I have had the privilege of serving as a lead QEP Reviewer for the Southern Association of Colleges and Universities (SACS), where I get to help peer institutions build and assess similar programs.