Travelers program provides opportunities for student professional development
On Thursday afternoon, April 20, 2017, 15 students from Inver Hills Community College were honored at a CareerWays Recognition Event in Heritage Hall. Funded by the Travelers Foundation, the CareerWays program enhances the work-study experience and professional endeavors of participating students.
CareerWays provides students with professional and financial literacy development that includes workshops related to customer service, professional workplace expectations, communication, time management, prioritization, financial literacy, resume and cover letter development, and career exploration.
Students receive a stipend for participation and increased support in their work-study roles. Participating Inver Hills departments include Counseling and Advising, TRIO SSS, Admissions, the Enrollment Center, Peer Tutoring and the Center for Experiential Learning.
CareerWays eligibility requirements
- Students must be employed as work-study students in eligible departments at Inver Hills Community College
- Students must be nominated by work-study supervisors to participate
Speakers at the recognition event included Matt Kruger, TRIO Student Support Services director, and Thomas Van Wylen, CareerWays graduate intern, as well as CareerWays scholars Ahn Tran, Allie Shoop, Zach Koestler, Emily Singerhouse and Bret Pietrzak.
- Develop transferable skills for the workplace
- Provide feedback for personal and professional development
- Improve your comfort with the job application process
- Promote career development
CareerWays Recognition Event gallery
Competency modules completed by CareerWays scholars
Module 1: Workplace Competencies/Expectations
Module 2: Communicating Effectively in the Workplace
Module 3: Communication Channels
Module 4: Customer Service
Module 5: Problem Solving
Module 6: Resume
Module 7: Time Management
Module 8: Interview Preparation
Module 9: Cultural Competency
CareerWays scholar spotlight: Phanny Phal
Originally from Prey Veng, a city of 33,000 residents in southeastern Cambodia, Phanny Phal, 20, is a Harding Senior High School graduate, class of 2015. Phanny (pronounced PAW-nee; her last name rhymes with Paul) is earning her Associate of Arts (A.A) at Inver Hills. She’s transferring to Augsburg College in fall 2017.
“I am thinking about majoring in social psychology or marketing, or double majoring in both, or completing a minor in one or the other,” said Phanny, who followed her mom to the U.S. in 2011. Her native tongue is Khmer, an Austroasiatic language with Sanskrit origins spoken by 16 million people. “After earning my bachelor’s degree, I plan on getting my master’s degree in law and becoming a lawyer. I eventually want to own my own business.”
Three words that describe you as a college student:
DETERMINED. ENERGETIC. FOCUSED.
Phanny considers Inver Hills a place where she can grow as a new person, where she can find the hope and support she needs. “I like the clean environment,” she said, “and the quiet and peaceful campus.”
As a CareerWays scholar, she served as a peer mentor in TRIO Student Support Services and completed all 15 competency modules. “I enjoy listening to other students,” she said, “and relating my experiences to theirs.”
Phanny is an only child. When she’s not studying or working, she likes singing, listening to music and watching comedy shows. She also likes playing sports, especially volleyball. She commutes to Inver Hills from St. Paul.
Phanny Phal Q & A
Why did you choose your career path?
At first, I wasn’t sure why I chose this career path. To me, it felt like I just did it because other people did it. I mostly followed the path of others, which I try not to do. I try to live my life by the quote of Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
I did not want to travel the same path, the same road others did because the treasure hiding there has already been discovered. So, I told myself that if I want to find the best treasure, then I need to create my own path in life, the path nobody has followed or known before.
After going through the struggle of deciding what to do, I finally settled on my career path, which is to become a lawyer. I chose this career because I want to bring justice to hopeless people. I want the world I live in to be equal and fair for everyone.
What has been your toughest challenge in life?
The toughest challenge in life is fighting against myself.
What do you most want to accomplish in life?
Achieving peace and happiness.
How did CareerWays enhance your college experience?
I learned a lot from CareerWays. I learned about things that I did not know about before such as how to be professional in the workplace and how to communicate with people from different cultures. I also learned about time management and other helpful things that students would find really beneficial in both their professional and academic lives.
What CareerWays workshop helped you the most?
The resume workshop helped me the most. My resume was not good at all; however, with the help from the CareerWays staff, I was able to create a professional resume for myself that I don’t think I could have made on my own.
What would you tell a student who’s thinking about participating in CareerWays?
I would tell them CareerWays is a program that will teach them the skills and techniques they might not know. They will also find out they have the key skills within them to be successful in college and the workplace.
Phanny Phal gallery
Phanny Phal | 21 Answers
- Favorite season: Fall
- Favorite natural feature (e.g., waterfalls, oceans, mountains, etc.): Oceans and waterfalls and being in nature
- Favorite sport or physical activity: Volleyball—all other sports come second
- Your national bird if you could have one: Peacock
- Place you would most like to visit: Anyplace with an ocean and waterfalls
- Favorite holiday: New Year’s Day
- Your national mammal if you could have one: Wolf
- Favorite actor or actress: Jackie Chan
- Favorite band or performing artist: I don’t have a favorite. I listen to every band and/or artist as long as the song is good.
- Your personal motto if you had to have one: “Let today be the worst day of your life and go with the flow.”
- Coolest thing in the world: Doing things that others have not wished to do
- Scariest thing in the world: Caterpillar
- Favorite all-time TV show: Don’t have one, but I like watching supernatural, vampire, magic, fantasy, action and comedy movies/TV shows.
- Favorite all-time movie: Rush Hour
- One thing you most want to accomplish in life: Be able to travel every year
- Most precious material possession: My necklace
- First thing you would buy if you won the $1.5 billion Powerball: A house
- Dream occupation: Detective/actress/singer/lawyer
- Person you would most like to meet: The other me
- Skill you would most like to learn and master: Be able to speak many languages
- Humankind’s greatest challenge: Overcome greediness
To learn more about CareerWays and TRIO Student Support Services at Inver Hills, contact:
TRIO Student Support Services Director
Travelers EDGE Director