By Alex Wilson, October 9, 2020
WARRENSBURG, MO – Using a medium they believe will resonate with students, the University of Central Missouri’s Career Services Center has developed a new career-focused podcast. Titled “Mules with a Mission,” the weekly student-led podcast was launched this fall as part of the mission and vision of the Career Services Center to educate students on career development and provide opportunities towards meaningful careers.
The podcast is hosted by speech-language pathology senior Carson Hertzler and cybersecurity junior Austin McClary. Listeners can expect to learn about certain career-related topics such as networking and resume-building through “Mules with a Mission,” which is thoughtfully curated for students seeking career advice.
“We are trying to reach out to as many people as we can while giving as many resources and information as possible to our students. I think a lot of people are nervous to come into our office or maybe don’t feel the need to,” Hertzler said, “We are just trying to create a fun and unique way to reach out to those students and give them that information if they don’t feel the need to come into their office.”
The podcast serves as a supplement to other resources provided by the Career Services Center. According to Jessica Johnson, assistant director of Career Readiness and Employability, the podcast is a great tool for busy students.
“We try to stay up with the trends and kind of what is going on with how we can deliver Career Services information. I think it’s crucial to give our students a way to access Career Services information in a quick fashion,” Johnson said.
The podcast is recorded at the Center for Teaching and Learning with equipment assistance provided by Carol Knight, instructional design specialist. Additionally, Knight edits the podcast alongside McClary. From there, McClary handles many behind-the-scenes tasks such as uploading the podcast to various streaming platforms.
At a university level, the podcast is the only student-led Career Services podcast in the state of Missouri. The podcast is very unique “because it is led by their (students’) peers.” Johnson said. “They can see this is a junior and a senior who are currently on campus, who are getting access to all these people and teaching us some valuable information about career-related topics.”
According to Hertzler, the podcast being student-led is its greatest strength and contributes to its value as a resource for university students. Hertzler strongly believes that the ability to receive advice curated from other students at a similar grade level will resonate with listeners. Also, because the podcast is by students, listeners can expect discussions to focus on the university experience.
“If you are just looking for a way to gain that knowledge in a quick and easy fashion, you can just walk around campus listening to it, car rides if you commute. It’s the perfect time to get that information. I think it’s a lot more accessible for our students and I think the accessibility helps out with them gaining that information,” Hertzler said.
The Career Services Center hopes “Mules with a Mission” will be a solution for the modern student seeking advice. According to Johnson, the Career Services Center is continually seeking new ways to grow appeal and connect with the student body.
Johnson said “Mules with a Mission” hopes to capitalize on the rise of streaming “as podcasts are the ‘it’ thing right now.” She added that students really enjoy them, they are easily accessible, and another innovative way for the Career Services Center to reach students.
The “Mules with a Mission” podcast is available to students round the clock in an easy, digestible format tailored to students. While the Career Services Center provides valuable services to students to help them on their career path, those looking for general information, resources or advice can turn to the podcast at a convenient time for them, rather than scheduling an in-person appointment. The Career Services Center encourages students, regardless of academic situation, to take advantage of the podcast as a way to build connections with the center.
New “Mules with a Mission” episodes are available every Monday on popular streaming services such as Apple Podcasts and Spotify. The podcast can also be heard on Anchor.fm. To contact the Career Services Center for podcast inquiries, email Jessica Johnson at email@example.com.