First, I graced you all with the presence of my current classmates in my mini blog series: Meet My Cohort. Today…. well, let’s just say I’m introducing a slight spin off. In this blog post, we will be chatting with a graduate assistant in the Heller Career Development Center. Let’s welcome Nijimbere Lahayiloyi to the Heller Admissions Blog room!
Nijimbere Lahayiloyi is 27 years old, born in Burundi, East Africa, and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. In undergrad, he majored in Political Science, Global Politics, and International Affairs. He is currently in the dual-degree MA in Sustainable International Development/MA inConflict Resolution and Coexistence program. He is one of three Graduate Assistants in the Heller Career Development Center.
What is your role at the Career Development Center? And why did you decide to work at the center?
I work as the Career Center Graduate Employer Relation Assistant here at Heller. I chose to work for the Career Development Center because I had prior professional and personal experiences that aligned with specific skills, knowledge, and qualifications the center was seeking. On a personal level, I was very interested in learning more about career opportunities that emerge from the center and how these opportunities are shared with students in different programs.
What is the Career Development Center at Heller?
In general, the center is a team of highly talented individuals who work to educate, advise, and connect students with employers, alumni, and other professionals with an aim to unlock high-impact career opportunities for all Heller students. Within the center, we have programing such as Information Sessions, International Career Clinics (Help with Resume, Cover letter, Networking, all for international students), and many more. The office is managed by Dr. Jasmine Waddell, who also in charge of the programing for MPP, MBA, and PhD students. Bryan Kanney, our Assistant Director, works mostly with programing for the Global Programs: MA in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence, MA in Sustainable International Development, and MS in Global Health Policy and Management. We currently have three Graduate Assistants: Fabiola Mejia, Meghan Gragg, and myself.
What do you think are the most common myths of The Heller Career Development Center?
I think some people might think that some of the platforms we embrace are difficult to navigate, but I disagree with the sentiment. Platforms such as Handshake and B-Connect are not difficult to navigate, I believe that once you familiarize yourself with it, it becomes second nature and very useful for job searchs and connection to opportunities.
Why is it important for students to connect with their career development center?
It’s very important because eventually most students, if not all, seek to put their education to a good use after graduation. It’s very imperative, in my opinion, that students connect with a career center early in their first year of their program as they plan for internship or practicum opportunities. The center has so many tools and resources to assist any student attending Heller. The problem I often see is students waiting to contact the Career Center in their last semester or just a few weeks before graduation; while it is never too late to seek assistance, there is extra strength that lies in strategic planning and connecting with available resources as early as possible. Most students that succeed are capturing and obtaining their desired position after completing their program tend to those who have connected with the center from the very beginning of their academic journey at Heller.
What should we expect from the Career Development Center this year?
We recently renewed our website to better reflect the needs of students from all programs. We used to post job opportunities on Handshake, but we have changed this, going forward all jobs will be posted on B-Connect. We plan to continue using Handshake to schedule appointments with students who are interested in crafting resume, Cover Letters, and learn more about the art of networking. This year we will also continue to have alumni, employers information sessions, career fairs, career conversations workshops, international career clinics, and more programing.
Thank you, Nijimbere, for stepping into the Heller Admissions Blog and educating us on the importance of connecting the Career Development Center here at Heller. I can also vouch that I have utilized most of the resources offered by the center, such as setting up a 1:1 meeting with Dr. Jasmine Waddell and even attending a resume/cover letter workshop! So if you hate cover letters (like myself), are stressed about the job search, or just want to learn how to navigate the platforms such as Handshake and B-Connect as mentioned by Nijimbere then do not hesitate to set up a time to meet with the Career Development Center they will be waiting :). To learn more about the Career Development Center, please visit the Career Development Center’s website.