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Courses & Programs

Andrea Picard

Coordinator of Career Planning

Academic & Student Affairs

Frost 276

413.552.2342 (Tel)

CareerSpot Videos


Career Services

For students, alumni, and employers.

Career Services is a free resource to help students and alumni plan for their futures and advance their careers. We assist with career exploration and decision-making all the way through to strategizing how to successfully achieve career goals. 

We will help you to:

  • Define your career goals and develop a career plan
  • Decide on an appropriate major, education path and/or training program
  • Develop effective job search skills (resume, cover letter, interviewing, and networking)
  • Identify and apply to employment and career-related opportunities and events
  • Build career readiness competencies for a successful transition to employment 

Everyone has different life experiences and career goals! We're here to help support you on your career preparation journey!


Mission Statement
The mission of Career Services at Holyoke Community College is to assist students and alumni in all phases of their career development and to empower them in making meaningful and fulfilling career decisions in a diverse and global society. 

Vision Statement
It is the vision of Career Services that students and alumni will become capable, contributing members of the local, regional, and national economy and to become self-supporting individuals that contribute significantly to their families and communities.

Everyone has different life experiences and career goals! We're here to help students and alumni on their journey. While you're a student at HCC, we'll help you create or refine your career plan. 

THE CAREER PLANNING PROCESS

STEP ONE: Self-Assessment – Identify Interests, Skills & Experience

STEP TWO: Research Careers

STEP THREE: Find Education & Training Options

STEP FOUR: Become Career Ready   

Meet with a career counselor to:

  • Write or Update Your Resume
  • Draft a Cover Letter
  • Manage Your Social Media
  • Build a Professional Network
  • Develop Your Personal Strengths
  • Prepare for Interviews
  • Handshake (Complete Your Handshake Profile)

Complete Your Handshake Profile

Handshake is the #1 way that college graduates get hired. Handshake is an interactive career network and recruiting platform.

It is:

  • Equitable and inclusive, and
  • Designed specifically for college students and recent alumni

Handshake's key objectives are to help you:

  • Search for jobs/internships/events regardless of where you go to school
  • Build a professional network to include employers and your peers!

Benefits:

  • Targeted search for jobs and internships
  • Register for career fairs, information sessions, & employer panels
  • Schedule appointments and interviews
  • Receive personal invitations from employers
  • Learn about career fairs and job recommendations
  • Connect with alumni

Last year, employers sent more than 16 million messages to students on Handshake. Chatting with employers is a great way for you to learn about jobs, events, and help you to make a personal connection with an organization you may want to work for!

Get Started

  1. Begin by activating your account and creating a Handshake profile. (All HCC students registered for classes are automatically uploaded to the system which enables them to easily establish Handshake access.)
  2. Go to your HCC email and search for an invitation from Handshake. Then use your HCC e-mail user credentials to activate your account.
  3. Complete your profile and Handshake will begin suggesting opportunities for you!

To use Handshake, simply log into joinhandshake.com with your HCC username and password to use your free student profile, connect with employers, and access Career Services events.

Need assistance? Visit How to Complete a Handshake Profile or contact Andrea Picard at apicard@hcc.edu.

HCC students can improve their employment prospects by using their free Handshake account.

Handshake is a career management, networking, and job search tool. It is connected to over 770,000 employers! More U.S. college students are using Handshake to find internships and jobs than any other online platform. That is why HCC invested in their own Handshake platform to share with HCC student for free!  

Students can sign into their Handshake account with their HCC username and password to: 

  • Participate in job recruitment events
  • Learn from career exploration webinars
  • Network with peers, professionals, and employers
  • Find jobs and internships

 Complete your Handshake profile to get even more out of Handshake:

  • Showcase your education, experience, skills, and projects
  • Find relevant job fairs, work opportunities, and articles 
  • Apply and interview for jobs and internships
  • Select to let employers know more about you

 To get started contact Andrea Picard at apicard@hcc.edu.

We encourage employers to post employment or internship opportunities with their organizations at Holyoke Community College Career Services using the Handshake platform. If you are a Handshake system user, please submit your postings to Holyoke Community College through your Handshake account.

If you are not currently a Handshake user, we invite you to request approval to post your open positions at HCC through Handshake. You may begin this process by registering for Handshake by creating a Handshake account and requesting permission to post at Holyoke Community College. 

If you have questions about creating or using a Handshake account, visit the Handshake Help Center or contact apicard@hcc.edu.

Additional resources are available to research employment opportunities throughout the Pioneer Valley as well as beyond Western Massachusetts and Northern Connecticut. Use the links below to access the most common job search sites for employment in the Pioneer Valley.

September 28, 11-1 pm In-Person
Mental Health Association (MHA) will be on the second floor of the Campus Center for on-the spot interviews! MHA is hiring Entry-level Residential Support and Recovery Specialists and Internships through their Earn & Learn Program MHA provides a supportive environment in a community residential setting, empowering the participants who have been impacted by homelessness, psychiatric diagnosis, trauma, and/or addiction in achieving their vision of recovery and rehabilitation, focusing on strength and resiliency through person-centered planning. MHA's Earn & Learn Program enables students to work for as part-time and per-diem/relief  paid-employees to gain experience in the mental health/healthcare/substance recovery field. Unlike most jobs, MHA offers very generous flexible work schedules to accommodate school schedules.  

October 3, 3:30-4:30 pm Virtual
2023 PAID INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT  
Partnership for Public Service is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization whose goal is to build a better government and a stronger democracy. They are recruiting for three paid opportunities for students in government, but welcome students in STEM, the Humanities, and Business programs.  

USDA Rural Development is offering paid Loan Technician Internships for the Amherst & Hadley, MA, Windsor & Norwich, CT areas through their Pathways Program. Rural Development focuses on serving rural areas by investing in their communities through housing and utility infrastructure, increasing economic opportunities, and by improving the quality of life for all rural Americans.  Both agencies will discuss their opportunities, how to apply, and the benefits of working for the federal government.  To register, please complete the Student Registration Form by September 29, 2022, and you'll receive the Zoom link for the event.    

September 28 from 11-1 pm Campus Center
CALLING ALL FUTURE HEALTHCARE & HUMAN SERVICES PROFESSIONALS! 
Representatives from Mental Health Association (MHA) will be on the second floor of the Campus Center on September 28 from 11-1 pm. Come learn how you can gain valuable experience working part-time or per-diem in the mental health/healthcare/substance recovery fields through MHA's Earn & Learn Program.Unlike most jobs, MHA offers very generous flexible work schedules to accommodate school schedules. In addition, MHA is hiring Entry-level Residential Support and Recovery Specialists. MHA provides a supportive environment in a community residential setting, empowering participants who have been impacted by homelessness, psychiatric diagnosis, trauma, and/or addiction in achieving their vision of recovery and rehabilitation, focusing on strength and resiliency through person-centered planning.

Free career workshops provide opportunities for students to learn about preparing for careers and finding employment. Career Services staff offers a variety of workshops at various times throughout the semester. They are open to all students and alumni.

All workshops are 45 minutes in duration unless otherwise noted. Please note that currently, workshops will be offered virtually through Zoom. 

HCC faculty, staff & Student Organizations

If you are interested in scheduling a workshop for your class, department, or student organization, please contact Career Services to set up a date. Workshop requests should be made at least two weeks in advance. 

Workshop topics

Resume & Cover Letter: This workshop helps students to understand how to construct a professional resume and cover letter relevant to the position being applied for. (60 minutes)

Navigating a Career Fair: This workshop helps students understand best practices in preparing for both a virtual and in-person career fair.

Networking Tools: This workshop will teach students how to build and expand a professional network. 

Interview Essentials: This workshop helps students understand best practices and techniques and interviewing for a job.

Andrea Picard

Coordinator of Career Planning

Academic & Student Affairs

Frost 276

413.552.2342 (Tel)

CareerSpot Videos