Connecting students with possibilities for their future is truly a passion for Bukky Abdul, career coach for the College of Communication & Information at the Center for Career Development.
“I love working with students to help develop themselves, and after my master’s program, I knew I wanted to do career coaching full time. This is the perfect position for me, I love it here,” Abdul said.
In her role, Abdul provides a variety of services and support to students throughout their college experience to assist with job placement once they graduate. These include organizing and ensuring students are aware of career fairs and networking events, coaching them on how to write resumes and cover letters and how to conduct job interviews, and teaching them strategies for job/internships search or other hands-on work opportunities.
Abdul earned her undergraduate degree in communications in Nigeria and then moved to the United States of America to earn a graduate degree in human resources from the Central Michigan University. She completed an assistantship in career services while earning her master’s, and it was then she discovered how much she enjoyed helping students pursue their career goals. Landing a job at a college that specializes in her undergraduate area of study merged all of her interests into one position.
She started working at CCI in September 2020, in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic , which presented both challenges and opportunities for herself and students looking for jobs. While traditional networking and job search avenues weren’t as prevalent as they were pre-pandemic, new virtual avenues began opening up as employers adjusted.
“A lot of things changed and fortunately a lot of companies realized that there are positions that could be completely remote. Which was nice for students who didn’t have to find a position in the same state, they could look for jobs outside of their current location. The job search definitely changed in the sense that companies now do things differently,” she said.
Since starting her current position, Abdul has acquainted herself with the Bachelor of Science in Information Sciences program and the types of positions and companies where students of the program can be placed upon graduating. She noted information sciences is such a versatile and interdisciplinary degree that there are an array of diverse opportunities for students going into the field.
“Employers reach out to us and say, ‘We need data analysts or user experience designers.’ And now we can say yes, we do have information sciences majors and we have students who are trained in this area. It’s been helpful to have a variety to give employers,” Abdul said.
She’s also been working with information sciences to better understand what type of industry they want to work in, as information sciences professionals can work just about anywhere. She’s learned more about how to keep up-to-date with the field and the types of jobs that are at high demand. One way she’s doing this is through the Nashville Technology Council, which the career center just joined.
“That [helps us with] keeping up-to-date on what is going on with technology and the Council sends out a newsletter and they have positions that are information sciences related and that has helped me. I’m able to give students more specific jobs for information sciences,” she said, noting that she’s also been paying attention to the types of questions information sciences students ask when she’s presenting in classes.
“It’s challenged me to see what students are asking and how I can address those things,” she said.
If you’re a CCI student and are interested in an internship, improving your job searching skills, or to just gain insight into the industry, contact Abdul at firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up for an appointment in Handshake.