October 15th, 2018

Supporting Student Success: Career and Academic Advising


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There’s nothing quite like the feeling of receiving that all-important CIA acceptance letter—for students and their families alike. It marks the beginning of an exciting time when students find their place in the world, first at the CIA and then in a fulfilling career in the food and hospitality industry.

You may be wondering: What support is available to help guide CIA students through their college experience and help them progress through their degree program successfully? As the director of the Center for Career and Academic Advising, I’d like to share a little of what my team does to support our students during their time here at the CIA, as well as throughout their career.

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The Perfect Pairing: Academics and Career

Academic life and career planning are fundamentally connected. That’s why the CIA takes a holistic approach to its support services. When you’re a CIA student, your advisor is both an academic advisor and a career advisor.

The connection starts at admittance; the college links every student with an advisor before they get here. And that relationship and support continues through your student’s entire CIA experience and beyond.

Getting to Know the CIA

The transition to college can be both exciting and challenging, especially for someone leaving home for the very first time. An advisor can help ease that transition for students, helping them with even the smallest issues—from navigating the campus and getting connected with the right software to building a résumé and figuring out how to do laundry! Students can choose to connect with a peer mentor as well, to gain a classmate’s perspective about how to best settle in.

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Academic Support

First and foremost, we’re here to help students succeed academically. From day one:

  • Our CIA Cares program allows faculty to proactively communicate a concern about a student’s academic success so we can step in and help right away.
  • The Tutoring Center offers workshops to support students in some of the more challenging classes.
  • The Library Learning Commons staff and welcoming study environment is an invaluable (and very popular!) resource for students.
  • We guide students through the internship process—holding prep sessions before they leave, staying in touch while they’re away, and helping them re-acclimate when they return to campus.

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Career Preparation

We offer our students career services for free—and for life. It starts with resources that include:

  • On-campus Career Fairs and Career Networking Days that connect CIA students and graduates with top employers.
  • Multiple on-campus recruitment events each week, when many leading employers—such as the Four Seasons, Daniel Boulud’s Dinex Group, and Compass Group—make special visits to the CIA seeking new hires.
  • The Culinary Connect job database, which typically features well over 2,500 openings.

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We also ensure CIA students are well-prepped, too. From the get-go:

  • We host sessions to help students discover what they want to do in the food and hospitality business, and how to go about doing it.
  • There’s training for résumé writing and building interview skills.
  • They’re encouraged to identify and keep samples of things they’re doing throughout their time here, building their own personal e-portfolios, a “mise en place” of sorts for their careers.

Rest assured: our career and academic advisors are always here for our students. It’s our mission to support your student’s success and happiness.

By Crystal DeCarolis

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Crystal DeCarolis is the director of the Center for Career and Academic Advising at the CIA.