Early Start on Career Prep Pays Dividends

Students should fit career preparation into their college schedules as early as their first year, says Margie Giauque, director of the Office of Career Services at Bemidji State University.

“Students who work with us are better prepared and find jobs more closely related to their fields,” Giauque said.

Although jobs, and the tools for finding them, have changed dramatically since she joined Bemidji State in 1994, the four basic strategies of exploring, preparing, targeting and launching are fundamentally the same.

When Giauque began at BSU, she was a department of one. During her tenure, she has advocated for more staff, resources and internships. The Career Services office now consists of four staff members and student workers who help resident students, distance students, NTC students and alumni with resume guidance and review, interview practice, internships and on-campus interviews. Her persistence has been the key to building partnerships with employers and creating opportunities.

The office pays particular attention to the role it plays for first-generation college students. Giauque often shares her personal story to make a connection.

As a TRiO student at University of North Dakota, Giauque benefited from the resources available and the people who guided her back on the right path when she made missteps.

“I was one of them,” she said. “Someone believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself.”

The drive to help students succeed applies to everyone  ̶  from scared first-year students to alumni who are progressing in their careers. Giauque uses her own strengths to help others learn theirs. She is comfortable looking into the future and helping identify ways to improve employability.

Said Giauque, “I know I can impact change.”