Developing Careers Like It’s Her Job- An Interview with Career Development Fellow Caroline Richards

Caroline Richards started training for her position as a Career Development Fellow last short term, and took on the full role when she returned for school this semester. “I had previously been an Office Assistant for the BCDC and that is how I learned of the job” says Richards, “I heard about the Office Assistant job my sophomore year through the SEO and word of mouth around campus.”Caroline covers walk-in hours 6 hours a week, but also spend additional hours working on projects and planning.

Caroline had become interested in being a Career Development Fellows after observing the previous CDFs. She finds the BCDC to have a great work environment and her role as a fellow “provides an opportunity to be a leader on campus and develop my own personal and professional skills.” To apply for the job, she first had to submit a cover letter and resume through JobCat. After submitting an application, she was notified for an interview.

The day-to-day tasks of a BCDC fellow varies, but one of the central components of Caroline’s job is running walk-in hours with other CDFs. “The walk-ins are for students to drop in and have their resumes and cover letters critiqued, as well as ask any other questions they may have. I also plan and facilitate workshops that will be put on throughout the semester for students, including a First-year Friday event and a Senior Boot Camp” Caroline explains. Additionally, Richards help the BCDC staff advertise events and workshops to students.

One of Caroline’s favorite parts of the job includes the people she gets to talk daily. “I really love getting to work with both staff and students. The job is different every day and I learn as I go.” Another great aspect about working in the BCDC is that Caroline feels as if she is developing and enhancing her own professional and communication skills which will serve her well in the future.

“Working with staff and students on a daily basis, both in person and through email, has greatly improved my verbal and written communication as well as leadership ability and project management. I have also gained a lot of insight in the specifics of resumes, cover letters, networking and aspects of different industries (such as finance and consulting).” All of the skills Caroline has honed from her work will translate excellently to the career path she takes after Bates, as communication and project managements within a group are both key components of entering the workforce.

Through her job, Caroline have learned that she really loves working with other people and having different tasks on a regular basis. She has also learned that the skill sets she has learned are important, “as they will allow me to be flexible and open to different opportunities that come along after leaving Bates.” In fact, Caroline has already found that she is connecting with different people and internships that she ever did before her job.

Walk in hours with Career Development Fellows are Monday through Friday 1–3 p.m. at the BCDC, and Wednesdays 7-9 p.m. in the Ladd Library just outside the Peer Writing Center and Mondays 8-10 p.m. at the OIE. It’s never too early to start thinking about your future career, so stop by.