Office of Career Pathways Expands Offerings to Adult Learners

A new initiative with the School of Continuing and Professional Studies now offers in-class sessions that are tied to learning objectives of the program.

Searching for and landing that first job can be challenging, but for mid-career professionals who are looking to get a promotion or switch industries altogether, it can feel downright daunting.

That’s why Manhattan College’s Office of Career Pathways (OCP) has begun providing students in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS)  with resources tailored to their needs and schedules.

Led by career counselor Bernadette Blocker ’05, ’13, OCP’s new initiative now offers in-class sessions that are tied to learning objectives of the program. For example, the M.S. in Organizational Leadership program requires students to craft a personal development plan to follow parallel to study for the duration of the program. Blocker helps students with the practical tools necessary to achieve these goals.

“What's different with this population is that most already have jobs, so I cover topics like promotion and salary negotiation,” says Blocker. “We're also putting more focus on career assessments — particularly the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator). This is especially helpful for those looking to change careers — it provides personal insights helpful to start their job search.”

One of the reasons Blocker is passionate about working with adult learners is because she was one. She graduated from SCPS (previously the degree completion program) in 2005 and went on to earn a Master’s in Counseling from Manhattan. Blocker enjoys helping individuals achieve their career goals — a role she’s officially had at the College since 2013.

Over the years some things haven’t changed, like updating standard résumés, but social media has created a whole new conversation: personal brand management. Now considered an essential skill for career development, it includes and expands far beyond the ability to navigate LinkedIn and other social media platforms. Professionals are now expected to represent the value they are able to consistently deliver to colleagues, clients and the general public. Because of this trend, Blocker anticipates conducting more one-on-one sessions in the future.

“Every case is going to be a little different, depending on your industry, where you are in your career and your goals,” she says. “That’s where one-on-one sessions can be really beneficial.”

By Sarah Schwartz