Higher education professionals gathered at FUNGLODE’s headquarters this past October 12 to exchange views on their experiences, practices and challenges on guiding students, at the technical, undergraduate and professional levels, to build a career plan, and to increase the visibility and involvement of businesses in college campuses.
The roundtable discussion was moderated by InteRDom Program Coordinator, Alicia Alonzo, and was led by Christian Garcia, Executive Director of the Toppel Career Center at the University of Miami, one of the most innovative centers of professional guidance in the United States, who answered questions regarding the important role played by higher education professionals in the students’ transition from school to work.
The roundtable discussion began with a broad presentation by Joaquin Salazar, coach of the InteRDom Internship Certification program. “It is imperative for academic institutions that have not yet done so, to formalize their commitment to bring the benefits of the internships to as many of their students as possible as a key educational element.”
The participants in the dialogue showed interest in standardizing and expanding the counseling services offered to students to write resumes and handle job interviews that would allow employers to make better hiring decisions.
The internship was assessed as part of a career plan that may or may not open doors to new employment, but certainly to increase the students’ employability, their opportunity to learn to work, to make better decisions about their future employment, and to identify the areas in which a student, technician or professional, can work.
Questions were asked on how to improve the counseling services offered to students in universities and to support them in making decisions about their careers: from the identification of a possible internship, or career change, to the application to a master’s degree or graduate program.
There was an overall discussion on the contents of the first Dominican draft law on internships. Emphasis was placed on its usefulness and on how it creates an opportunity for employers and universities to generate stronger and clearer dialogues on the internship expectations. The project creator, Karen Ricardo, attended the event and responded to the specific concerns of the attendees regarding the use and application of the law.
Christian Garcia is a higher education professional with 15 years experience in a variety of areas related to college students and academic affairs. He currently serves as Executive Director of the Toppel Career Center at the University of Miami, which is one of the most innovative and dynamic Centers in the United States. Christian was recently recognized by the Florida Business Journal as one of the 40 leading business professionals under 40 years of age in Florida. He is a member of the National Association of Colleges and Employers in the United States, where he serves as Chairman of the Committee, as well as of other local and national professional associations.