About Career Steps
The Career Steps Program is a new program sponsored by the Department of History and the College of Arts & Letters (CAL). It is a program designed to assist liberal arts majors get a job after graduation. Through career mentoring opportunities we assist undergraduate liberal arts students in making a direct connection between the valuable transferable skills they gain from their liberal arts majors and those that employers seek today. As a recent survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers illustrates, six of the top ten skills employers are looking for in new employees are skills students obtain from a liberal arts education, such as the ability to work in a team environment, make decisions, solve problems, and communicate verbally.
The CAL Career Steps Program is young, but we are already making a difference. We have hosted multiple speed mentoring events (April and October 2013, February 2014), three resume workshops in collaboration with NAU Gateway Career Services (November 2013 and February 2014), and two on-line courses (Fall 2013 and Spring 2014). We are excited to offer additional mentoring and career resources to students in the future.
Meet Al Sack
The Career Steps Program was started with a generous gift from alumnus Al Sack [’71 BS ED, USN Commander (Ret)]. He wanted to create a program that would serve as a resource for students studying History and the Humanities.
Al Sack is an experienced problem solver who attributes much of his success in the U.S. Navy and D.C.’s corporate arena to skills he honed studying history at NAU. “I had innovative and influential professors, in small classes, who helped me develop critical thinking skills that were ultimately vital to my career.” He wants the connection between liberal studies degrees and career success to be clear for NAU students, so he has helped launch the pilot “History Department Mentoring and Job Assistance” program. He believes that NAU alumni are crucial to the function of the program and hopes that eventually the tiered mentoring system will expand to other colleges across campus.“Alumni success will inspire and teach students how to prepare for their careers in the highly competitive job market.”
Meet the NAU director of the Career Steps Program
NAU history professor, Dr. Chuck Connell, believes liberal studies students are often unaware of the job skills they attain studying in fields like history. “They are astute critical thinkers, writers, leaders, and they have tremendous ability to analyze and critique,” Dr. Connell explains. Yet these students typically believe the best (or only) options for future careers involve further education, but that is not necessarily so. “Al Sack is a perfect example of how a history degree led to a successful career,” Dr. Connell said. Al’s leadership and consultancy are a testament to the great contributions a history student can make to the world. Dr. Connell agrees that the pilot program “History Department Mentoring and Job Assistance” is in line with NAU’s tradition of strong student-faculty relationships and that it will improve outlooks and opportunities for NAU liberal studies students. He looks forward to continued work with Al and many other successful NAU alumni.