Otterbein Career Development Staff Helps Students Get Jobs, Go to Graduate School

Posted Mar 24, 2021

By Harold Walston ’21 

Otterbein University seniors are facing down the realities of life after graduation, and the Student Success and Career Development (SSCD) staff is here to help. 

As a graduating senior, I can attest that coming to the end of senior year can be intimidating, to say the least. Being a college senior is mixed with a swirl of emotions —happiness, excitement, anticipation, or even fear of the unknown. Many of us are eager to start our careers, but do not know where to start. That’s where I was before I reached out to SSCD — an entire office dedicated to our professional success. 

Having an incredible team who could teach me the innerworkings of the job hiring process relieved my stress. They are helping me navigate the building blocks of my career. It’s an even greater relief knowing that I will have this incredible resource post-graduation as an alumnus. 

Otterbein’s Center for Student Success (CSS) and Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) merged last fall to better serve students. The merger has created a more intentional approach for students during their academic and career journeys. 

Executive Director of Career Development Ryan Brechbill wants to see the best future possible for students. “We just want all of our students to be successful,” he told me in a recent conversation.  

Brechbill has been at Otterbein for a decade and has seen thousands of students off to a promising future in the workplace or graduate school. To accomplish this, he said his office addresses that challenges students face as they transition into professionals or graduate students by offering a plethora of professional and career advice.  

The results of their efforts speak for themselves: A recent survey found that 96.1% of the undergraduate class of 2020 was either employed, enrolled in graduate school, or serving in the military within six months of graduation. 

They get results like that by taking a holistic approach and starting early in a student’s academic career, so they can help with on-campus jobs, internships, and skills development. 

“We look at pretty much everything. From the hiring process, to resumes, to helping build confidence with mock interviews,” Brechbill said. “We really encourage students to come and see us as early as their first year.” 

What does SSCD do exactly? Make an appointment, bring a draft of your resume, put your best foot forward, and find out for yourself.  

Resume development is a primary focus. The career development staff helps students tackle problems in their resumes they might not realize are there. “I see a lot of lack of individualism in resumes. Students often use a similar template that makes it hard to stand out to employers,” Brechbill said. 

The staff also conducts mock interviews for potential jobs. In mock interviews, Brechbill and his team help students develop well-rounded answers to commonly asked questions, from the easy ones to the difficult ones. The team also helps students find the right questions to ask their interviewers to make sure that a job will be a good fit.  

SSCD also hosts job fairs and opportunities to help students network and explore career and graduate school options, offers mentoring programs, and holds events that focus on building specific skills, like what to do at a business lunch. All of these services will help Otterbein students, both current and former, develop the building blocks for their success.  

Brechbill and his dedicated team of professionals wants Otterbein students to understand that their Otterbein education will take them far.  

“Trust your Otterbein experience,” Brechbill advises students getting ready to move into the professional world.  

Now you know: Your future is going to be amazing, and SSCD will be with you every step of the way.