Jackie Brunet has been the Director of Career Services at The Refrigerator School for about a month now. Prior to that, she was the Assistant Director of Career Services for three and a half years. Jackie started in the Admissions department as an administrative assistant when she applied for an opening as a career services advisor and got the job. She credits her passion for helping students and graduates achieve their career goals for her success in her position.
Career Services helps prepare students and graduates for their new careers. They help with resumes, provide guidance on the dos and don’ts of interviewing, honing and reviewing the importance of soft skills like communication and being customer service-oriented, and how to present themselves as professionals. Being a professional is one area where students really need help according to Jackie. For example, being on time for interviews, returning calls to employers, and treating customers like family. Employers really are looking for employees who can troubleshoot and fix HVAC equipment but also “fix” the customer as well, leaving them with the impression that the technician really cared about their issue.
In addition, Career Services work closely with industry employers and many of them think of The Refrigeration School first when they are looking to fill positions. They have quarterly Career Fairs that are open to all RSI students and graduates where industry employers to attend and discuss their hiring needs with the students and graduates. These are great opportunities for graduates to find work and for students to start the networking process. Jackie’s favorite apart about her job is hearing the excitement in a graduate’s voice when they tell her about their HVAC job. “It really is infectious.”
Like any job, there are challenges to working in Career Services Jackie admits. That is getting students to understand that Career Services truly is there to assist and help guide them. They receive feedback from employers and share that with students with the hope it will help them get and keep a job. Jackie recommends students come in, meet the team, visit often so they can get to know them. She also recommends asking questions during the presentations.