Employment Services Help Students at LDSBC

Contributed By Marianne Holman Prescott, Church News staff writer

  • 3 December 2014

Robert Sunderland speaks to a student as other students wait in line to sign up for services at the new employment resource services center located on the LDS Business College campus.  Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.

Article Highlights

  • Students can now find assistance finding employment, explore careers, and get help with resumes and networking at LDS Business College.

“We want them to be happy in their lives, and we want them to find meaningful jobs, something that will lead them on the way to a career that they love to do every day.” —Arnie Allred, employer relations specialist at LDS Business College

For students at LDS Business College, a break between classes can now turn into a productive visit to the new employment resource services center located on the college’s downtown Salt Lake City campus.

The services—available since October 27—provide students with opportunities to work with mentors and find help in preparing for and finding employment after graduation.

“What LDS Business College is really about is helping students find and prepare for their first career,” said Craig Nelson, vice president of advancement at the college. “We want them to quickly get into the work force [after graduation] and start earning a living.”

In order to accomplish that goal, LDS Business College advisers and faculty members are careful in what courses they offer and how they teach those courses. The new services add to their vision that goes beyond time in the classrooms and focuses on the next step—employment.

“A lot of kids come to college—a two- or four-year college depending on the college experience they choose—and determine what they are going to do,” said Arnie Allred, employer relations specialist at LDS Business College. “A lot of students graduate and still don’t know what they want to do. They have to learn who they are and see what they do naturally really well.”

The aid available at LDS Business College’s employment resource services center includes assessments that guide students to subjects they naturally are good at and enjoy.

“We see this as a great opportunity to not only utilize the resources as far as the Church has for employment services, but also as an opportunity to really open up some doors for our students,” said Brother Allred.

Just like an LDS employment resource services center in one of the many locations around the world, the LDS Business College’s services will include help with résumés, cover letters, and other aspects relating to the job hunt.

Frank Sano, who works as a manager at the Layton, Utah, employment resource services, spent a week helping establish the new center. He said the unique part of the new service center is that it is specifically for LDS Business College students, so rather than helping people who have already been in the workforce regain employment, they are helping students land their first jobs.

Students wait in line to sign up for services at the new employment resource services center located on the LDS Business College campus. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.

A sign welcomes students visiting LDS Employment Resource Services at LDS Business College. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.

Margaret and Robert Sunderland are two missionaries assigned to work with students at the new employment resource services center located on the LDS Business College campus. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.

“We will have the career workshop, coaching, and mentoring with networking and job skills,” Brother Sano said. “The mentors are good people who are going to give fair, honest advice.”

But these services reach far beyond the Salt Lake campus—the skills students learn will help them in their job searches throughout their entire careers. They will be in the system of employment resource services centers, and no matter where the students live they will be able to connect to their local network to find jobs in their respective fields in specific areas around the world.

“The students really win,” said Brother Nelson. “It extends their footprint to a larger area and provides more opportunities for them.”

For a college with a greatly diverse student body, getting “in the system” will be a benefit to them wherever they return home.

“They come here, learn what we are teaching, and then will be able to find opportunities where they live,” Brother Allred said. “They don’t have to stay in Salt Lake.”

The services share a space with the testing center at LDS Business College and draw upon the same missionary couples who serve there. Right now, five couples—many retired professionals with various work experience—serve one day a week in the center and have dual responsibilities with the testing center and employment resource services.

“If we need more, we’ll get more,” said Brother Sano. “The missionaries are all service missionaries. Many of them are like grandparents to these students and are good at what they do.”

After serving as missionaries in the Centerville, Utah, employment resource services, Elder Robert A. Sunderland and his wife, Sister Margaret Sunderland, feel right at home at LDS Business College.

“I used to teach math here [at LDS Business College] for 21 years; it is good to be back,” said Elder Sunderland. He and his wife (who taught school for more than 30 years) work at the testing center and employment resource services center once a week.

Whether it is teaching how to network, how to communicate better, how to job search, how to go on and what to expect in interviews, or how to “sell themselves” or teaching the career workshop, Elder and Sister Sunderland said that it is very rewarding to see the change of confidence in a student’s demeanor.

“What good is an education if you can’t get a job?” Elder Sunderland asked.

Sister Sunderland said that working with the college-age students has been a great experience. One highlight is that “they already know how to do the computer skills!”

Austin Allen, a student from Grantsville, Utah, who is studying entrepreneurship, sees the services on campus as a great networking tool.

“I want to own a business someday, and I realize that the new services can help in finding people to work for me in the future,” he said.

Most important, the services are meant to help students feel confident and prepared as they head to the workforce in the “real world.”

“We want them to have jobs,” said Brother Allred. “We want them to be happy in their lives, and we want them to find meaningful jobs, something that will lead them on the way to a career that they love to do every day. For so many people work is a drudgery, so we want to help lead them to a profession that they love and enjoy and are prosperous in a way that allows them to be in a place they can serve other people.”