I met with Dr. Jerri Arnold-Cook, a Career Resources Specialist (CRC) at the Career Center here at Missouri State University. Whether you have dedicated yourself to a stringent 5-year plan or you’ve been living by a sticky note with your finals schedule on it, Dr. Arnold Cook and the Career Resources Specialists are here to help and talk through your future!
Dr. Arnold-Cook and I started our conversation by discussing her responsibilities and how she supports students. Career Resources Specialists (CRCs) both coach and advise students and alumni from both a job placement and career development/job exploration perspective. Both current and graduated Bears are welcome to use the Career Center’s services to prepare for an interview, presentation, or career change!
Whether an individual wants to focus on technical skills to get a job or explore the dimensions of a career field, Dr. Arnold-Cook is available to help. Additionally, she and her team will perform outreach with classes to let students learn about leadership opportunities and the resources that the career center can provide.
CRCs also act as liaisons to specific colleges and organizations in order to tailor their support to specific fields. Dr. Arnold-Cook serves as the liaison to the College of Education, the College of Humanities, Public Affairs, Bear Power, and Fraternity and Sorority Life.
Most frequently, Dr. Arnold-Cook (as well as the other CRCs) works with faculty from the colleges and organizations that she liaises. CRCs also work with the Disability Resource Center to ensure that their standards are inclusive and helpful to everyone regardless of ability. The Alumni Association serves as a collaborator by providing outreach for the Career Centers services.
Her favorite parts about her role are when she is able to help students feel successful. Hearing “I got into grad school” or “I got the internship that I wanted” never ceases to bring her joy in her work.
By reducing the obstacles individuals face when integrating their academic education into the career field, Dr. Arnold-Cook is able to give them confidence to achieve their goals. On the flip side, one of her least favorite parts of the job, exacerbated by Covid, is having to communicate critiques through email. The tonality of the conversation is lost. Dr. Arnold-Cook is well aware of the way that text can magnify the negatives of the critique and gloss over the positives.
After this year, Dr. Arnold-Cook has worked to maintain her mental health by using Zoom as an opportunity to rekindle old connections. This particularly resonated with me. Calling or Face-timing someone feels strangely intimate but offering a Zoom chat feels just as comfortable as grabbing coffee. In a time where we all feel so separate, a video chat helps to make friends from across the country feel just as close as a friend down the road.
Going forward, I plan to set up another meeting with Dr. Arnold-Cook to discuss my future plans more in-depth. As we met, I found myself deviating from my usual script and began to talk about my career aspirations and summer plans (not included in this summary!).
Truly, Dr. Arnold-Cook has a magnetic and caring personality perfect for her role. I thank her for taking the time to meet with me!
(Harry Riel, Assistant Hall Director; Hall Council Advisor | Hammons House; Student Affairs Graduate Association Cohort 14 Co-Liaison, Residence Life, Housing and Dining Services; Practicum Student for Family Programs & Student Affairs Special Events. )