Jennifer Gonzales has been the director of Career Development since 2019 and still gets goosebumps when she explains what she sees as her favorite part of her job.
“The most rewarding part of this job is seeing the career counselors interact with our students and see the students go through every stage of the process,” Gonzales said.
According to Gonzales, a popular service the student body uses is the one-on-one counseling sessions with career counselors, but the department provides more than just this one service.
“The top services that are being used by the student body have been choosing a major, resume reviews, career counseling and interview prep. We also offer our Viking career closet consultations, career aspiration and career planning” Gonzales said.
There are Career Development offices located on all three campuses, which allowed the department to assist 1,131 students in September alone.
According to Gonzales, the department is responsible for planning out multiple career and college fairs, business networking events and the Viking academy career workshops. Career fairs occur three to four times a semester and college fairs once a semester. Gonzales also expressed her thoughts on the national hiring career platform called Handshake. This platform is new to Del Mar College and is used nationwide to help companies and students connect with each other directly and is being used increasingly as the department is working on having all the companies that attend use this platform.
Gonzales said companies from all over attend these fairs in hopes of filling positions. Employers such as CCAD (Corpus Christi Army Depot), Cheniere, CEC Energy, the Corpus Christi Fire Department, the Corpus Christi Police Department, RTA, Nondestructive Visual Inspection, the Texas Workforce Commission and many more, amounting to from 20-40 employers at these planned events.
“I walked into a networking event, and I saw a bunch of adults, there were maybe two or three more people my age at the event,” said Khalid Alabi, a first-year student at Del Mar. “I started networking with different businesses and moved from booth to booth, and then I found Emily Longoria.”
Longoria is the designated career counselor for the Heritage Campus.
“Emily really helped me out as far as setting up my LinkedIn profile, updating my resume and networking with other programs and schools such as the SBIP, the Small Business Internship Program, and UTSA, the University of Texas at San Antonio,” Alabi said when asked how he discovered the Career Development office.
Longoria is the first and only the full-time career counselor on Heritage Campus.
“It makes us, counselors, happy seeing how confident students are and how they were able to build up their confidence and how happy they are when they find a job at the end of this long and scary process,” she said.
Longoria said she does work on the busiest campus so her day-to-day activities keep her busy, but she would have it no other way. Between the workshops, student appointments, and more, Longoria said a part of her job is knowing how to be flexible and learning when to adjust since things “never go as planned.”
According to Longoria students are still surprised when they discover the Career Development Office. “This is amazing” and “I didn’t realize that you all existed, and that the office has all these resources for us” is what students tell Longoria. In the past students were less aware of the office, but that is changing every semester. Longoria stated this previous semester the office worked closely with student enrollment. Every student was sent to their office after the new student orientation, creating an “almost soft requirement for students to come and see us, just to make sure students are on the right track,” Longoria said.
The Career Development office is in the Harvin Center on the first floor, room 127. The office offers Career Exploration, Career Counseling, Resume Reviews, Mock Interviews, Job Search Strategies and Viking Career Closet Consultations. Students are urged to book an appointment on the Del Mar website, or scan the QR code and speak to one of the three designated career counselors.