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The Office of Career Pathways

Career Pathways Rust College is a five year grant-funded pilot program designed to enhance selected institutions’ capacity to help our students find meaningful employment in their desired career fields. Rust College is one of 24 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and predominantly black institutions (PBIs) to establish the UNCF Career Pathways Initiative (CPI). CPI is a three-pronged, comprehensive approach to developing career pathways for students: guided pathways, curricular enhancements and integrated co-curricular engagement. The Career Pathways Initiative aims to improve the ability of educational institutions to serve their two primary stakeholders: students who rely on institutions to prepare them for a life after graduation, and employers who look to them for well-prepared college graduates.


The mission of the Office of Career Pathways is the prepare Rust College Students with the necessary resources and information to compete in a Global Economy.


  • To provide individual counseling to students, helping them explore career opportunities and develop career strategies.
  • To provide students career opportunities through “Handshake”, a career management system for students, alumni, and employers.
  • To encourage our students to take responsibility for their career development decisions, their plans for graduate school, and employment
  • To educate our students on current career development issues.
  • To create opportunities to increase student experiences through internships, community service, and international exposure and opportunities.
  • To connect students with alumni, employers, and professional groups, providing opportunities to develop their personal interests and explore career possibilities.


Career pathways Rust College serves the entire student body on campus and provides the following services:

  • Career Counseling
  • Mock Job Interviews
  • Interview Preparation and Feedback
  • Job Posting
  • Testing Material (e.g., GRE, GMAT, MCAT, LSAT)
  • Dress for Success Career Clothes
  • Resume Preparation, Writing, and Critiquing
  • Resume Referral
  • Cover Letter Assistance
  • On Campus Recruiting (Job Fairs, Corporate Presentations and Graduate School/Professional Recruitment).
  • Career Development Workshops, Quest for Excellence, to enhance: professional and social skils
  • Internship Opportunities
  • Strategies for Job Searching


Ms. Sandra Burke, Director

Mrs. Angela Williams, Employment Coordinator/Career Coach

Ms. Dunmetria Russell, Administrative Assistant

Mrs. Mollie Pegues, Data Analyst

Student Four-Year Plan

Freshman – Assessment:

Get to know yourself – Begin to identify your values, interests, skills, personal traits and career satisfiers in order to identify the ingredients of a good career “fit”:

  • Visit the Office of Career Pathways
  • Meet with a career coach for help with self-assessment and early planning
  • Complete online assessment tools
  • Begin to identify careers that fit your interest and abilities
  • Create a draft resume and have the Office of Career Pathways staff review it
  • Attend events such as career fairs, graduate school fairs, workshops, etc.

Sophomore – Exploration:

Explore and research career possibilities – Learn the connections between courses, concentrations, and careers; discover the benefits of experiential learning.

  • Visit the Office of Career Pathways
  • Conduct career research and gather information about three potential careers
  • Gather information on different fields, industries and companies
  • Set up a LinkedIn account
  • Conduct informational interviews with people in fields that interest you
  • Explore opportunities to gain relevant work experience, such as internships, summer jobs, or volunteer work
  • Attend events such as career fairs, graduate school fairs, workshops, etc.

Juniors – Preparation:

  • Develop your resume and cover letter writing skills. Refine your career goals and strategy – through informational interviewing, internships, and relevant part-time and summer jobs, “test the waters” and determine a potential career direction.
  • Visit the Office of Career Pathways
  • Revise and finalize your resume
  • Develop your cover letter
  • Research graduate schools and visit the campus (in-person or virtually)
  • Learn to present your elevator pitch, presenting your goals and skills
  • Conduct informational interview and build your network
  • Obtain an internship
  • Attend events such as career fairs, graduate school fairs, workshops, etc.

Seniors – Implementation:

Develop and implement your job search or your strategy for graduate school – Develop the skills needed to accomplish your goals.

  • Visit the Office of Career Pathways
  • Develop a list of potential employers
  • Prepare for interviews and practice your skills with a mock interview
  • Network
  • Gather graduate school applications and write personal statement
  • Attend events such as career fairs, graduate school fairs, workshops, etc.

Graduating Seniors – Decision Making:

Make an informed career decision – Gain insight into necessary professional development skills to be successful.

  • Visit the Office of Career Pathways
  • Analyze job and graduate school admissions and weigh your options
  • Meet with career coach to walk through your decision making
  • Consider the practical aspects of life after Rust College and attend workshops or seminars to help make this transition
  • Join the Rust College International Alumni Association
  • Attend events such as career fairs, graduate school fairs, workshops, etc.

Jobs/Internship Search

Internships help students gain experience in their chosen career fields. It is this experience that not only strengthens the path to their chosen careers, but is instrumental in building a strong resume. This experiential learning opportunity help student gain experience in fields of interest; other benefits include:

  • Gaining valuable work experience that increases your employment marketability
  • Develop new skills while refining others
  • Reinforcement of classroom learning to workplace settings
  • Exploring potential career options
  • Meet and work with professionals
  • Building your professional network
  • Can lead to full-time job offers

Most organizations are looking for candidates to fill an immediate opening. This typically means you should be applying the semester prior to the anticipated start date. Similarly, most internship recruitment occurs a semester in advance. However, depending on the industry/organization you are targeting, you may have to apply even earlier. There are several different ways you can find internship opportunities!

Where to Find Job/Internship Opportunities

  • Search Handshake, a Career Management System, for thousands of job, fellowship, and internship listings.
  • Meet recruiters at our virtual career fairs and school-based career fairs
  • Search organization websites for current job openings
  • Use sites such as indeed.com, simplyhired.com, or idealist.org (for nonprofit jobs) to search for openings
  • Join student organizations or professional associations for networking opportunities


In addition to searching and applying to online job/internship listings, you can find a job or internship through your network. Consider the following strategies:

  • Contact your network (family, friends, professors, supervisors, and mentors) and let them know that you are looking for a job/internship. Inquire about potential opportunities and ask for connections and leads.
  • Contact alumni within organizations you are targeting for advice using LinkedIn.
  • Follow up with contacts/recruiters with whom you have previously interacted for potential opportunities/advice.

Manage Your Job Applications

As you submit applications, it is important to stay organized. Here are some tips to help you manage your job search:

  • Have your resume and cover letter reviewed prior to applying for jobs. Make sure they are tailored for the specific job to which you are applying.
  • Make sure to submit all the requested documents and submit them on time.
  • Save a copy of the job description for future reference. Sometimes job postings are removed from job boards prior to interviews so it could be helpful for interview preparation.
  • Keep track of deadlines and interview dates so you can follow up as appropriate. Creating an Excel spreadsheet is an easy way to keep everything organized.
  • Manage your energy. Finding a job is a full-time job in itself! When it gets stressful, take a break.
  • Be polite and clear in your communication with recruiters. Keep track of your phone calls and emails.

Instructions for Handshake Registration

Handshake is a career management system where students search for internships, full time jobs, part-time jobs, or other experiential learning opportunities. Students have access to over 3500 employees, online career fairs, graduate school fairs, and workshops from Rust College. It is imperative that you have a complete profile to sign up for opportunities offered.

  • Go to: app.joinhandshake.com
  • Register as a Student/Alumni
  • Fill in your personal information and complete your Handshake profile
    • Ensure you specify your school year
    • Ensure you specify your education level
    • Ensure you provide work experience to include start and end date
    • Ensure you complete your Introduction
    • Ensure you input courses
    • Ensure you input organizations/extracurricular activity

Additional support for Handshake can be secured from:

Mrs. Angela Williams – Employment Coordinator/Career Coach – The Office of Career Pathways, 2nd floor of the Administration Building – 662-252-8000 ext. 4079 – awilliams@rustcollege.edu

Cover Letter

Why should you take the time to write a cover letter?

Cover letters are a great way to demonstrate how you communicate and allow you to go into more detail than you can in a brief resume. A persuasive cover letter gives employers information about your background and allows you to identify highlights from your career. In addition, a cover letter can help you establish your interest in the position. You should customize your cover letter for each job as this allows you to emphasize skills and requirements referenced in the job posting. Lastly, the cover letter is how you “sell” yourself to the employer and should accomplish the following:

Introduce yourself! If you are a recent graduate, you should mention your major and how it applies to the job you seeking. You should discuss extracurricular and organizational activities you were involved in as well as jobs and internships you held during college years; chances are you obtained transferrable skills that you can use at an employer of your interest.

State your education and skills!! The resume will entail the majority of this information; therefore, you do not have to go into a lot of detail here.

Request further action! Be polite and sincere in your desire for further action. This is where you will request the next step such as an appointment or telephone conversation.


A resume is intended to get you an interview, where you will have a chance to further describe what you can contribute to an organization and differentiate yourself from the competition. The key is to keep your resume well organized, concise, and accomplishment-focused.

I’m a freshman student, do I need a resume? Many people may ask you for your resume, both on and off campus. If you are looking to get involved in undergraduate research, expect your future faculty supervisor to ask for your resume. If you are seeking a fellowship, grant, or scholarship, you will likely need to submit a resume as part of your application. Thinking about applying to internships or summer jobs? You will need a resume!

How should I begin writing my college resume? Begin by brainstorming a list of experiences and skills that you might want to include in a resume. Consider your academic background, paid and volunteer work or internships, research projects, extracurricular activities, awards, and special skills. Once you have compiled your list, you can start organizing this information into the appropriate categories and focus on tailoring the information you include to your target industry.

What sections should I include in my college resume?

It depends. Everyone’s experience is unique, so your resume will likely look different than some of your peers. We have provided some common sections that we typically recommend for Rust College students and alumni. However, many of these may overlap and it is not wise to include all of these sections. Be sure to come to the Career Pathways Office to discuss how you can best market yourself through your resume

  • Education
  • Relevant Coursework
  • Relevant Projects
  • Relevant Research
  • Research Experience
  • Professional Experience
  • Work Experience
  • Internship Experience
  • Leadership Experience
  • Activities
  • Community Involvement
  • Skills
  • Awards & Honors
  • Certifications

Developing Bullet Points

Bullet points are the most important information on your resume, as they serve as the vehicle in which you can display the skills and experiences employers are seeking. Crafting the perfect bullet point takes time and effort as you highlight your experiences/skills as they relate to the position. Your bullet points should be tailored to the job/internship description to put you in the best position to be selected for an interview. By following the formula below, you will create the complete, fully realized bullet points that employers expect. You will also want to quantify your bullet points in order for employers to understand the context of your work.

Action Verb + Core Content + Result, Purpose, or Impact

  • Developed programs that increased circulation of weekly newspaper by 6% and tracked progress
  • Raised $1250 from the freshman class for the Public Service Center
  • Photographed 350+ participants and their families for the closing ceremony slideshow
  • Developed an iteratively revised design for a purpose build accelerometer to explore acceleration changes in microgravity
  • Researched commercial components to determine their suitability for use in the creation of a video conference kiosk
  • Organized a fall event with $16,000 budget and over 1500 attendees

It is important to diversify your bullet points and to align them with the job description. Do not repeat yourself, even if your experiences are similar. Focus on different experiences, activities, and skills that can display how you meet the requirements listed. Below, is a small list of action verbs, aligned with transferable skills, which you can draw from when creating your bullet points.

Interview Tips

Research the company you are interviewing with. Practice, practice, practice for every interview. You can contact the Office of Career Pathways to make an appointment for a Mock Interview. The Mock Interview is a perfect way to practice your interviewing skills.

Interview Attire

Make sure to dress professionally when interviewing for a professional job or internship as a college student. It’ll show that you’ll know how to behave in a professional manner if you’re hired. For men, this might mean a suit jacket and slacks with a shirt and tie or a sweater and button-down. For women, a blouse and dress pants or a statement dress is appropriate. Less formal attire is acceptable when interviewing for campus jobs and more informal workplace jobs. If you have a job interview in a more informal work environment, you might wear a business casual outfit. Business casual outfits are less formal than a suit, but they are also more professional and polished than, say, a T-shirt and shorts or a sundress and sandals.

Message to Employers

Thank you for considering Rust College students for internships and employment opportunities. Rust College takes pride in preparing dedicated and highly competent students for your consideration. Rust College uses Handshake, a career management system, as our career portal. In Handshake you can post opportunities to our students. You can post jobs, internships, virtual events, set up interview schedules and participate in virtual events at our school. Handshake is the centralized location to post all opportunities.

Please review the following article: Getting Started With Handshake: Employers at https://support.joinhandshake.com/hc/en-us/articles/115011431228 The article serves as a guide to assist you with creating a Handshake account.

Message to Faculty

Faculty members play a vital role in preparing Rust College students for leadership and service in a global society. We aim to prepare students for the transition into the competitive and complex job market; therefore, it is imperative that students begin their career planning as early as freshman year.

Invite the Office of Career Pathways to Your Classroom

If you are looking for innovative ways to compliment your syllabus, consider inviting a staff member from the Office of Career Pathways to present a career topic in your classroom. The Office of Career Pathways presentations include:

  • Career Planning
  • Resume and Cover Letter Writing
  • Interviewing

Give Students Assignments or Credit Points

Faculty can help students make a connection between academics and the real-working world by giving assignments to attend the Office of Career Pathways activities. We have faculty members that require students to attend career fairs, employer information sessions, workshops, and graduate school fairs. Please contact the Office of Career Pathways for current listings of events and activities.

Career Pathways Jobs


The World Ended Yesterday

Start Date: Immediately

  • Name: Fedex Supervisor
  • Email: jobs@email.com
  • Number: 662-252-8000

The World Ended Yesterday

Start Date: Immediately

  • Name: Fedex Supervisor
  • Email: jobs@email.com
  • Number: 662-252-8000

The World Ended Yesterday

Start Date: Immediately

  • Name: Fedex Supervisor
  • Email: jobs@email.com
  • Number: 662-252-8000

The World Ended Yesterday

Start Date: Immediately

  • Name: Fedex Supervisor
  • Email: jobs@email.com
  • Number: 662-252-8000

The World Ended Yesterday

Start Date: Immediately

  • Name: Fedex Supervisor
  • Email: jobs@email.com
  • Number: 662-252-8000

The World Ended Yesterday

Start Date: Immediately

  • Name: Fedex Supervisor
  • Email: jobs@email.com
  • Number: 662-252-8000