Meet the new staff member who brings energy to this important, student-focused role
Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health is proud to introduce Chelcie Krier as the new Director of Career Services. Chelcie is dedicated to assisting students and alumni in securing employment within their fields of study. She provides students with employment referrals as well as training on techniques that will support their career searches.
Chelcie’s first day was December 4th. She joins Salter Nursing from the University of New England, on both its Portland and Biddeford campuses in Maine. There she worked in the Physician’s Assistant program, as assistant dean in the Westbrook College of Health Professions, and most recently as a recruiter in the university’s human resources department. “I’m happy to be back in New Hampshire,” she says, “closer to family and friends.”
She likes that the people at Salter Nursing are personable and the campus is intimate, located on the 4th floor of one of Manchester’s historic mill buildings overlooking the Merrimack River. (The Manchester campus of Seacoast Career Schools, a sister school, is located on the first floor of the same building.) “Everyone here has been fantastic,” Chelcie says. “It’s such a good team.” She joined the staff as the school has been busily preparing to go through an accreditation process, as well as actively recruiting and gearing up for its next class of Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) students. She says the current class has just under 100 students.
Chelcie makes up a one-person department at Salter Nursing, but she has a lot of support from Campus Director Julie Marques. She also received training when she first started from David Royka, Northern Division Career Service Specialist for Premier Education Group (or PEG, which oversees Salter Nursing) and from Jill Brown, PEG’s Accreditation Officer and Career Services Director. “They provided great resources for me to start off with,” Chelcie says. “They were extremely helpful about what works best for these students and careers.”
A student-focused role
Chelcie says her role is to assist students by helping them find job offers, including working with them pre-enrollment and post-graduation. She first meets with students just before they enroll, sees them on a weekly basis while they are on campus—either in the hallways or when she makes class visits—and then makes contact again for an exit interview when they graduate. “This constant contact means that, hopefully, by the time the students leave campus, they trust me to assist them if they need help,” she says.
“A lot of what I offer is in terms of resume preparation and writing cover letters and thank you notes,” she says. “I work closely with each student, in response to their individual need, to build up a set of resources before they leave us. And I make sure that they all know they’re always welcome to come back and see me any time.”
One of the basic services she offers is assisting students with appropriate resume formatting and giving them a sense of what employers are looking for. “I try to show samples of wording that are likely to stand out, so the student can separate their resume from those of other applicants,” she says.
One of her focuses since her arrival has been working with the school’s IT team to get a computer station set up in her office, specifically for students and alumni to use to work on resume and job applications. “That way, if a student or graduate doesn’t have access to a computer at home, they can work here and submit applications online if need be,” she says.
Chelcie also emphasizes the importance of the mock interview process, to help students become comfortable with an interview discussion. “I make it a habit to work with individual students in going over questions that they might be asked, as well as their answers,” she says. “After the fact, if a student did not receive an offer for a particular job, then we talk about what answers might work best for their next interview.”
Providing ongoing support
One of the things Chelcie gives to students at the exit interview is a packet of materials for them to review together, which the students can then refer back to at any time during their job search process and contact her if necessary. She says several students have already returned to campus to work with her on their next steps. “I also let the students know about the activities of recent graduates, in terms of passing their exams and finding employment,” she says.
One of the ways Chelcie feels she can be most useful is helping students to maintain their momentum once they graduate to take their licensing exam and then find a position. “There is a sweet spot in terms of that timing, when all the information they have learned is still fresh,” she says. She likes to encourage students to follow through on their goals, and take the test sooner rather than later, given that if they wait they may begin to feel less confident about their knowledge of the subject matter.
“I enjoy partnering with the other members of the Salter Nursing staff to communicate with graduates, see what their needs are, and then take it from there,” she says. “We like to check in and see how they are doing in terms of studying and taking the exam, and then to see what we can do to support them.”
Interacting with potential employers
Another aspect of Chelcie’s role is to maintain the job posting board on campus with current openings. She also keeps students up to date about any job fairs that may be coming up in the area, and organizes site visits to specific employers who may be looking to hire in the coming weeks and months.
Another tactic she uses is to have employers come to campus, where she sets up one-on-one meetings for students once she has an understanding of the criteria for what the students as well as the employer are looking for. “We try to help both sides to find a situation that is the right fit,” she says. Chelcie also organizes guest speakers to come to campus, so they can talk about their company’s mission as well as get a sense of the Salter Nursing students and find out more about which students might be interested. Then she helps to facilitate follow-up conversations with particular students.
Chelcie says she regularly get calls from employers wanting to know if she can recommend graduates who are licensed. She also emphasizes that her resources in terms of job placement are not limited to New Hampshire. “I can also help our graduates to find positions in any state in the U.S., or even outside the U.S., if that’s what they’re seeking.”
Please give a warm welcome to Chelcie the next time you see her in the hallway! She’s eager to work with any and all students and graduates who are eager to reach their professional goals in nursing.
This post is part of the weekly blog of the Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health, located in Manchester, NH. Visit us online to learn more, or reach out to schedule a campus tour by calling (603) 622-8400.