November 5, 2023
For more information, contact:
Dr. Anthony Leigh, firstname.lastname@example.org
Q and A with the Center for Career and Vocation Director
Montgomery, Ala. – We’re shining the spotlight on the Huntingdon Center for Career and Vocation (CCV) with a Q and A with the CCV Director Sherry Leigh Lacey Farquhar ‘13.
Q. How long have you been associated with Huntingdon and what roles have you played as a student and staff member?
A. Huntingdon College has held a special place in my heart for 14 years. I entered Huntingdon College as a freshman in 2009 and jumped right into cheering on the Hawks on the cheerleading squad. During my undergraduate years, I was an Orientation Leader, Huntingdon Host, College Ambassador, a member of Chi Omega, Vice President of the Psychology Club, a member of Campus Activities Board, and a member of the Emerge Campus Ministries Praise Team. While immersing myself into the full Huntingdon experience, I made sure to focus on my academics as a psychology major. Needless to say it was a busy four years!
Huntingdon welcomed me back as a staff member in 2015, where I took on the role of Coordinator of Internship Development within the Center for Career and Vocation alongside Fran Taylor, who was the director at the time. After one year of working at Huntingdon College, I assumed the role of director of the CCV when Fran Taylor became the Dean of Students. As director of the CCV, I have the privilege of working with students to help them achieve their career goals and ensure they are prepared for the workforce or graduate school-what we like to call “Top Stage Ready!”
Q. You’ve had a full semester of Fall events in the CCV. What have been your favorite events this semester?
A. It’s been a busy semester in the CCV for sure! The Email Etiquette Workshop in September was a great event where students learned the proper format and etiquette for writing professional emails. It was a great turnout, and during the workshop students were able to put into practice what they learned by sending a thank you email to members of the faculty and staff.
The Connections Coffee is always a crowd favorite event where students are able to network with alumni and local professionals over coffee and scones. I love to see when students make a beneficial contact that leads to an internship or job opportunity.
Another favorite from the semester was the most recent event, “Overcome Your Career Fears of Networking.” We had a great group of students who participated in networking activities to build their confidence in speaking about themselves. Overall, the students got to know each other better and shared their career fears. I could see the growth in the students from the beginning of the event to the end!
Q. Give us a glimpse of events we can expect to see in the spring semester.
A. Coming up in the spring semester, we will be hosting “speed dating” mock interviews, a Suit Up event where students can receive major discounts on professional clothing, another Connections Coffee and a workshop or two on various professional development topics.
Q. Tell us what a ‘senior meeting’ is and why are they important?
A. A senior meeting is when I meet one on one with senior students. It is my goal every year to meet with all seniors in order to ensure they are prepared and have all of the resources they need in order to be successful upon graduation (resume, cover letters, mock interviews, grad school application help, job search strategies).
Q. How many students are performing internships this year? Want to give a shoutout to any doing something unique?
A. Internships are a great opportunity for our students to gain hands-on experience in the career field they are interested in. Not only do students discern what they really enjoy, but also what they do not enjoy, which is just as valuable. Among our fall interns this year, business administration major Harrison Jackson is interning with the U.S. Marshal’s Office here in downtown Montgomery, and business administration major Adam Kilpatrick is interning with Your Golf Superstore learning the ins and outs of the business. There are even opportunities to intern right here on campus. Communication studies major Brooke Stefankiewicz has been interning this semester with the Sports Information Office as a sports photographer, and cell biology major Reese Owen has been interning with the Athletic Training Department gaining a substantial amount of hands-on experience in the field.
Q. You also direct the work of the Freshman Leadership Initiative. How has that been this semester?
A. The Freshman Leadership Initiative is one of the most fun parts of my job where I get to build relationships with freshman students and help them grow into the leaders they are meant to be at Huntingdon and beyond. Our leaders have participated in workshops on the topics of professional communication and attire, discovering their strengths through the DISC Assessment, attended a community leadership field trip in partnership with the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, and most recently led a community service project where they wrote thank you notes to every faculty and staff member on campus and made over 200 goody bags to deliver with thank you notes, in their Halloween costumes I might add. I am proud of each and every one of our members and look forward to seeing even more growth into the spring semester as they plan a campus wide event.
Q. You also created a CCV Student Council. What role do they play in CCV programming?
A. Yes, this is the second year of having a CCV Student Council. The Council is instrumental in helping me with programming ideas, social media ideas, and with the execution of each event. It is very helpful to have the insight of our student body and what students want and need.
Q. Tell us about the professional clothes closet you have started in partnership with a class.
A. Professor Elizabeth Rogers’ Small Group Communications Class partnered with the CCV to help with starting a professional clothes career closet. We received a large number of clothing items, from women’s blouses, pants, skirts, dresses, shoes, to men’s professional suits, button-downs, and lots of belts and ties. For now, if students are in need of professional clothing, they can schedule an appointment with me at email@example.com.
Q. When looking for a job, is it what you know or who you know?
A. When you are looking for a job, most definitely who you know is going to be your most effective strategy for finding a job. That’s why it is so important to be participating in CCV events, and taking advantage of internship and externship opportunities that can set you up for success with a strong network by the time you begin applying to jobs. When seniors meet with me for their “Senior Meeting,” the first thing I tell them to do when applying to jobs is update your resume and send it to your network.
Q. What are some key pieces of advice for an underclassman planning to eventually apply for graduate school?
A. Focus on your academics, because your GPA matters greatly as graduate school becomes more and more competitive. Participate in externships and internships to ensure you are in the right career field before you begin applying to graduate school programs. Take advantage of any research opportunities to help set yourself apart on your resume, and as always, come to the many CCV events!
Huntingdon College, in accordance with Title IX and Section 106.8 of the 2020 Final Rule under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, other applicable federal and state law, and stated College policy, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. Similarly, it prohibits discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, religion, age and/or national origin in its education program