4.1.1.8 Center for Career & Leadership Development

Added: 07/01/2015
Revised: 08/03/2020
Last Reviewed: 07/20/2020
Effective: 08/12/2020

The Center for Career & Leadership Development (CCLD) provides innovative, student-centered career, leadership, and professional development programs and services that prepare and empower students to identify, build, and articulate career and leadership competencies needed to be successful in a competitive, global marketplace.  Using best practices from the student affairs profession, we address the holistic needs of students and collaborate with faculty, staff, employers, graduate programs, and community leaders to ensure post-graduation success.   The CCLD is comprised of the Office of Career Development and the Office of Student Leadership Programs and has physical locations on the Macon campus in Student Life Center, Suite 261 and the Cochran campus in Sanford Hall, Suite 112.  At MGA, we believe that career and leadership development begins as soon as you enter college and have provided a list of recommended steps in the MGA Pathway to Career Readiness as a guide.  For a complete overview of our services and the contact information for both the career development and student leadership programs staff, visit our website.

The Office of Career Development serves students and alumni through individualized in-person and virtual appointments, student organization and classroom presentations, recruitment and networking opportunities, and campus-wide career and professional development programs.  Career development services include one-on-one career advising offered in-person and virtually on resume and cover letter writing, career and major exploration, job and internship search, graduate and professional school search, interviewing skills, salary negotiation, networking, and developing a professional brand.  We also host career fairs and information sessions so that employers and graduate programs can connect directly with MGA students. 

Student Leadership Programs serve current students through specialized leadership development programs, campus-wide conferences, and individualized student consultations. We offer the Knights LEAD program for freshmen, the Emerging Leaders program for sophomores, and the iLEAD Mentors program for upperclassman.  These programs are two semesters long and begin in the fall.   Applications are typically due at the end of August.  Each spring, the CCLD also hosts the annual Student Leadership Conference, a free leadership development event open to all MGA students.    

Career Benchmarks for All Students
All MGA undergraduate and graduate students should activate their Handshake accounts at mga.joinhandshake.com to be able to take full advantage of the services offered by the Office of Career Development.  Through Handshake, students can schedule appointments with career advisors, register for career fairs, sign-up for employer and graduate school information sessions, and search a database of over 500,000 employers and over 5,000 jobs and internships.  Student Leadership Program events are also listed in Handshake.  Students with activated Handshake accounts received regular email notices of career and leadership events, programs, and opportunities. 

All first-year and transfer undergraduate students should also complete a career assessment during their first semester so that they can explore all major options at MGA as well as all of the career options available to them.  After completing an assessment, students should meet with a career advisor to ensure that they are on the right path toward their career interests.  Graduate students may also find value in completing a career assessment and clarifying career goals early on in their program.

At least 6 - 9 months prior to graduation, all students should schedule an appointment with a career advisor to explore career options and to begin preparing for the job or graduate school search.  Students who are interested in internships should begin preparing 6 – 9 months before they plan to complete an internship.  To schedule an appointment, students should login to Handshake, select “Career Center” and then “Appointments” to schedule a time to meet virtually or in person at our Macon or Cochran location.

New and returning undergraduate students who are seeking opportunities to get involved on campus while also developing strong leadership skills should consider joining one of our Student Leadership Programs (Knights LEAD, Emerging Leaders, and iLEAD Mentors).  Sophomores and above, including graduate students, may apply for the President’s Torch Society.  These programs prepare you for leading your peers within student and civic organizations, which in turn, makes you more prepared for the leadership roles you will pursue in your future career.  To get started, visit our website.