Compass—The Center for Calling and Career
Many colleges and universities offer career counseling or job placement assistance. At Southeastern, however, we approach this service from a completely different perspective. Instead of just helping our students find a job…we help them learn how to discern God’s call for their lives at COMPASS—The Center for Calling and Career.
Defining the Future
“If I could tell each college student one thing, it would be that you are not defined by your career,” said COMPASS Senior Director Pamela Crosby. “Rather, your career is an overflow of your calling, which is about your relationship with God and His plan for your life. I meet a lot of students who are confused about that. That’s why at COMPASS we focus on helping students learn how to discern their call, so that they’ll know it when they hear it.”
Many students who come to COMPASS aren’t sure what to major in and are just taking classes to get through their freshman year. Still others have chosen a major, but aren’t sure what to do with it. That’s when the team at COMPASS sits down with them and starts having a more in-depth conversation, and provides them with practical resources.
Pulling from students’ life experiences using a life map can often help an undecided student discern their field. This is usually much more effective than a personality quiz or similar testing method.
“Just helping a student find a job doesn’t set them up for long-term success,” Crosby explains. “By finding their calling and allowing that to pour over into their career, our students are much more likely to find both success and personal fulfillment after graduation.”
Crosby cites the example of a student who thought she might be interested in working as a teacher, but wasn’t sure if it was right for her. After a life-mapping exercise, several meetings at COMPASS and some time to pray over what she learned, the student discovered her calling in the field of special education. This was inspired by the fact that she grew up with a sibling with a learning disability, which instilled a desire within her to make a difference in children’s lives.
Once students have more guidance and direction for their path, COMPASS doesn’t stop there. The team provides resources and tools on a practical level, to help students and graduates to live out their gifts and abilities. One of the biggest ways COMPASS does this is by helping students recognize and grow their transferable skills, since many employers aren’t as focused on grades and majors as they are on real-life experience.
Resume workshops. Whether it’s from volunteering, mission trips, study abroad, internships or work experience, many things students do prior to graduation will help them in their future careers, but it often just takes someone pointing it out, or someone encouraging them to try these things out. Otherwise they may not see how the skill can either translate into a career, or help them in their field. Knowing both will help determine if and how that experience should be listed on a resume.Crosby recalls a student who was near graduation, but who thought he didn’t have much experience because his only “real world” work was a seasonal job at a movie theater. After the student met with his COMPASS career counselor about what he actually did during that job, the student left realizing he had skills in customer service, organization, interpersonal communication, and problem solving.
Mock interviews. Practicing interviewing skills prior to going on one cannot only help students get a job, but also increase their confidence in their abilities to present themselves well, and discern whether a potential employer is a good fit for their personal goals.
Professional dress seminars. What you wear to an interview, and then on a daily basis once employed, has some real meaning. COMPASS presents on this topic periodically, often bringing in organizations like Top Buttons, so that students are always suited up for success.
Career Coaches. COMPASS has career coaches dedicated to each of the colleges within SEU, who are not only familiar with the majors available in each, but what alumni are now doing with those degrees.
College Central Network. This online portal facilitates matching students with potential employers. Both students and employers can register and sign up for alerts when new jobs or new job candidates are available.
VIP Days. To further Southeastern’s ability to connect students and potential employers, COMPASS offers VIP Days. Employers, pastors, and human resources representatives come to campus to recruit students who are looking for internships, part-time work while still in school, or full-time careers after graduation.“I always tell students, this is probably the only time in your life that a potential employer will come to you, instead of the other way around!” Crosby explains with a smile.
Career Week. The services above are always available at COMPASS, but all of them also happen during Career Week each spring. During this week, SEU Alumni come back to campus and offer their insights from the working world through the Real Stories panel. Guest speakers from local organizations, such as YLakeland and the City Commissioners, have also come to campus.
Crosby is excited about how the office contributes to students’ ability to live out their Divine Design. “That’s why we call our office COMPASS,” Crosby explains. “We’re not here to design a path for you…rather, we’re here to point you down the path that’s been designed for you by Someone with a higher plan.”
The journey begins
Students who would like to begin their journey with COMPASS can email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment. Employers who would like to work with COMPASS to recruit SEU students as employees may contact Pamela Crosby directly at 863.667.5279 or email@example.com.