5 Reasons Why Career Services is One of the Most Important Offices On Campus

Have you ever wondered what happens after you leave the safe confines of your campus?  How will you find a job?  Where will you go when you need help?  If these concerns have crossed your mind, rest assured that there have been plenty of students before you that pondered the same stressful questions.

It is for this reason that our Career Services team was created.  Our goal is to help you.  We don’t believe in getting our students through school and sending them off into the world without any help; we believe in standing next to you, giving you leadership, and guiding you through everything from resume prep to mentoring you in preparation for the correct career.

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Our Career Services office is here to help you throughout your job-finding journey.  We provide career fairs, resume writing help, and help with improving your interviewing skills.  We believe that recent graduates shouldn’t be pushed out into the world without a little assistance, so we also help with salary negotiation skills, career development workshops, and employment assistance.

Forbes recently wrote an article that said it best:  We want you to know that we’re always here for you, and there are at least five great reasons to support the fact that Career Services is the most important office on campus.

Commencement Speaker Almost Wins Bet with Daughter

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For many years, Elizabeth City resident Patrick Keziah has dreamed of becoming the first person in his family to graduate from college. Years ago, he earned an associate’s degree in the liberal arts but believed that real success would only come with a bachelor’s degree in a more technical field.

So, to inspire himself and motivate his daughter, he suggested they compete to see who could be first in the family to earn a bachelor’s degree. It was close, but she beat him by 23 days. This Saturday, he joins her as the second person in the Keziah family to earn a bachelor’s degree, receiving his Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer and Information Science with a concentration in Healthcare Information Technology.

Getting to this point has not been easy. Patrick first endured a debilitating illness that ravaged his digestive system. After a 10-day stay in the hospital, he had to opt out of school for two terms. Then, just as he was getting back underway, his mother fell ill and he had to take time off to care for her and find her permanent residence in a nursing home.

Throughout it all, Patrick never took his eye off the prize. Tomorrow, he will represent the Virginia Beach study body at graduation, speaking about the power of perseverance. “It’s been quite a journey,” says Patrick. “I learned a lot about myself and I also learned that very few accomplishments occur without the help of others. I will always be grateful to the many people at ECPI University who stood by me and helped me catch up and get back on track.”

Thomas Cevora: A Portrait in Perseverance

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2014 Graduate with MS Serves as an Example to All

Thomas Cevora has always been a man of action. An Army veteran, he went to work on tug boats after leaving the service. From there, he moved to rail cars. Fourteen years ago, a clock started ticking and he knew at some point that a physically active life would no longer be his to enjoy. Thomas has Multiple Sclerosis (MS). That fateful day he long feared arrived three years ago. “When I resigned from the railroad, I just didn’t know what to do with myself,” says Thomas. “Everybody said I should go on disability but that just wasn’t for me. I have to be doing something.”

Using Vocational Rehabilitation through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Thomas decided to go back to school. Despite being hospitalized on a couple of occasions, he persevered. Now, he’s preparing to graduate this Saturday, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer and Information Science with a concentration in Web Development. “I discovered a great deal about myself these past three years,” says Thomas. “First, I am a lot stronger than I thought I was. Sure, I need a cane and, sometimes, a wheelchair, but I have developed mental strength. Second, I have an even stronger wife! She would never let me give up. We came close to losing everything. We barely held onto our house, but we always held on to each other.”

While Thomas is excited to move on, he admits he’s a bit nervous. In addition to graduating, he and his wife are planning to move to a cooler climate up north because heat aggravates his MS. “ECPI University has been like a second home to me. The faculty has been so great, especially Ms. Lanae Harris. She has been an inspiration. Whenever I needed a boost, she was always there with a ‘you can do it!’ And the best thing is: I did do it. I’ve applied for a graduate program with Microsoft. I’ve got my own web design business up and running which is a great source of pride. Each time I finish a website, I know that anyone in the world can type in that web address and see what I built.”

Getting Ready for Graduation

Grad Caps

It is that time of year when we celebrate our graduates! As is the custom, ECPI University provides a gold tassel for graduation caps of those who have distinguished themselves with a 3.7 GPA or higher.

If you are also a member of the Golden Key Honour Society, you may wear a gold stole to signify your membership in the society and academic achievement. These gold stoles may be purchased by going to www.ShopGoldenKey.com.

 

Tracy Mitchell: The One-Hundred Eighty Degree Man of ECPI

People say that change is good. Some people fight change, and such was the case for Tracy Mitchell. While he knew that an education would be instrumental in improving his life, he was slow to embrace personal change that could (and ultimately would) impact his professional future. By personal change it is in reference to his appearance. Tracy likes to joke about the initial impression he made on faculty and staff at ECPI University in Charlotte, North Carolina as well as some of the companies he has interviewed. “I came in with long hair to my hips, tattoos, and leather,” tells Tracy. “I don’t think most people expected me to last too long.” But he did, and Tracy appreciates the good nature jesting he now has with faculty and fellow students. It came down to a job interview when Tracy was asked, “how attached are you to your hair?” He knew it may be time for a snip if he wanted to land his ideal job.

Tracy Mitchell Before

Before coming to EPCI University, Tracy was a dump truck driver, heavy equipment operator and mechanic. After being laid off, Tracy decided to finally obtain his GED. He passed in January 2009 and enrolled in ECPI the same month. His original pursuit was radiology but quickly learned he was not good with needles and turned to medical imaging. Upon graduation he was hired by Siemen Medical Solutions in Cary, North Carolina, as a tech support engineer. Siemens is a global powerhouse in electronics and electrical engineering, and operates in the industry, energy, and healthcare sectors. For more than 160 years, Siemens has built a reputation for leading-edge innovation and the quality of its products, services, and solutions.

Just goes to show you, you can’t judge a book by its cover, but a haircut may lead to a very bright future.

Tracy Mitchell After