Backpack to Briefcase event gives job seekers an edge

By Brooklin Byrd

Assistant Life Editor

Photo by Jacob Moore
Bill Stewart, senior organizational leadership major, practices a good handshake with Angel Tunstall, freshman psychology major, during the Backpack to Briefcase workshop.

Beef up your resume, learn the perfect handshake, and grab some tasty snacks at the next Backpack to Briefcase event sponsored by the Vocatio Center.

Renee Jones, associate director of the Vocatio Center for Life Calling and Career, gave a highly entertaining presentation at the Sept. 5 workshop, presenting the do’s and don’ts of applying for jobs.

Jones, who stays informed about the corporate workplace in order to assist students, also drew attention to the way the corporate setting is evolving.

The model of the corporate world is now changing to team-oriented organization,” Jones said. “It’s about everyone’s gift sets and talents and how they fit.”

Jonathan Boyd, senior English major, insisted that the most important piece of information he obtained from the workshop had to do with resumes.

Whenever I hear the word ‘resume,’ I automatically become a bit intimidated,” Boyd said. “The workshop did a wonderful job of explaining what goes into a resume and what employers are looking for. The information definitely eased my fears.”

Photo by Jacob Moore
Renee Jones, associate director for the Vocatio Center for Life Calling and Career, watches Hassie Riddell, senior psychology major, practice a good handshake with Ellen Cline, junior art major, during the Backpack to Briefcase workshop.

Celia Leatherwood, sophomore special education major, was in the midst of applying for jobs at various summer camps – for which she needs resume writing and interviewing skills – and was able to polish those skills at the event.

Leatherwood said she loved the personalization of the workshop.

“I was very impressed … You could tell [Ms. Jones] really cared,” Leatherwood said. “She probably said every student’s name at some point because she would walk around and she would engage us.”

Photo by Jacob Moore
Renee Jones, associate director for the Vocatio Center for Life Calling and Career, gives advice on what college students should list on their resumes during the Backpack to Briefcase workshop.

Ellen Cline, junior art major, said that being an art major and attending the seminar gave her a different perspective on the event than the more suit-and-tie type majors, but she said she figured that gave her an edge.

[The workshop] might actually be more helpful … for people like me in the creative fields where we’re not as focused on sort of thinking as a professional,” Cline said.

Cameron Wilson, sophomore English major, was astounded by the number of services offered by the Vocatio Center.

[Ms. Jones] talked about a lot of the things they do … like the one-on-one times with people and they do the practice interviews,” Wilson said. “And the resume assessments … I wasn’t aware of [these services] before.”

While beneficial for sophomores or freshmen, attending the event is “a must for juniors,” Leatherwood said, adding, “[Ms. Jones] provided us with free peanut M&Ms and various chocolates, which should be a huge incentive to students to come. Free food… and applicable knowledge.”


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The Cardinal & Cream is a student publication of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Our staff ranges from freshmen to seniors and includes a variety of majors — including journalism, public relations, advertising, marketing, digital media studies, graphic design and art majors.