Students enroll at Northern Essex to receive an education. Ashley Moore, director of career and experiential education, makes sure they find a career.
Whether it’s preparing a resume, honing interview skills, deciding on a major, mapping out short and long term career goals, or looking for an internship, Moore is prepared to help.
She is inspired, she says, by the diversity of the students she meets at different stages of their career journey. Some students are just starting out, others have work experience and are returning to school, and still others are complete career changers.
One of the many reasons Moore excels at her job is that she walked the same path of uncertainty as some of the Northern Essex students with whom she works. A corporate finance and accounting major as an undergrad, she went right to work in the tax accounting field. She went on to earn a master’s in taxation and worked as a tax accountant.
“I didn’t really take the time to explore my career options and to define short and long term career goals. Furthermore, I did not take advantage of internship opportunities until my junior and senior years,” she says.
These are crucial steps she helps Northern Essex students navigate so they are on track, on point, and on time.
An internship is one of the tools NECC students in the business, communication/journalism, criminal justice, computer information science, and art programs, can use to experience a career field. Since its inception two years ago, Moore has placed more than 125 students in semester long internships with employers ranging from Coca Cola to radio station KISS 108.
“I really enjoy the dynamic nature of the field of career development, career education, and experiential learning,” she says. “Today’s job market is rapidly changing, with new jobs being created that did not exist even a year ago. Gone are the days of traditional career services. It’s become increasingly important for us to tune in to the changes that are happening in the workplace and to respond to them quickly in order to adequately prepare students to achieve their life goals.”
With that in mind, Moore says, Northern Essex takes a more holistic approach to career development and education by encouraging career exploration earlier in their college career. In addition to providing experiential learning like internships for NECC students they are offered tools and strategies to be successful after they graduate.
By tools and strategies she means career readiness workshops on topics that include resume writing, interviewing skills, networking for career success, professionalism in the workplace, and job searching strategies. In addition she helps with career assessments and meets one-on-one with students to discuss career exploration.
“I am most excited about being able to help students on a daily basis. I look back on my own career and there were (and still are) many people who helped me along the way,” she said. “If I can help to provide the tools, resources, and opportunities that make a difference in the lives of our students that to me is fulfilling.”