Meet Dr. Justin Edwards, Executive Director for Career Exploration and Development at Kent State University

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Meet Dr. Justin Edwards!

Justin serves as Executive Director for Career Exploration & Development at Kent State University and has experience in career counseling, academic advising, career exploration, development, staff development, and leadership.

Justin’s doctoral research focused on the effective integration of career development conversations within academic advising appointments. This work has led to Justin supporting the development of a Career Champions Training program for faculty and staff since joining the KSU team.

Dr. Justin Edwards

Read on for a short interview with Dr. Edwards.

Tell us about yourself and any background you may have with Kent State University.

Hi, I’m Justin, and I serve as Executive Director for Career Exploration & Development (CED) at Kent State University. My background includes career counseling, academic advising, career exploration, staff development, and leadership. My career education experiences have been focused on exploratory students, K-12 education majors, and students pursuing counseling and higher education as a career path.

What are you looking forward to most in your new role as Executive Director?

My doctoral research focused on the effective integration of career development conversations within academic advising appointments. This work has led me to support the development of a Career Champions Training program for faculty and staff since joining the KSU team. I look forward to continuing to help faculty and staff feel comfortable integrating career conversations in their classrooms, advising appointments, and as many student interactions as possible.

What can Career Exploration and Development offer online students?

Our office is well equipped to support students in geographically diverse locations; with global career development tools like Handshake and GoinGlobal, students can feel comfortable knowing that CED staff are ready to support their career goals and help them gather important information about the workforce in their region. We support the job search, questions about work permit/visa regulations, country-specific resume/CV, interviews, and professional cultural advice, as well as employment outlook and industry trends around the world.

How does the Career Exploration and Development department engage students?

Handshake is the digital platform for all Kent State students to engage with our office, job, and internship postings, and learn about over 25 thousand employer partners who post with KSU! Students can set up career advising appointments in person and virtual spaces, with evening hours being available to increase the likelihood that we will meet you where and when you are available!

What are important employment prep skills that students should have?

Employment preparation really starts with knowing your strengths and how to appropriately leverage them in the workforce. We’ll help you simplify the process of selecting a career or major by suggesting tools to make this undertaking manageable and enjoyable. Whether you are selecting a career for the first time, changing majors, or investigating your next career move, our staff of career advisors are here to help and encourage you along the way.

How important are quality resumes and cover letters?

Visually attractive, well-thought-out resumes and cover letters are powerful employment search tools that should help you showcase your unique credentials and land an interview. However, they are just a starting point in your employment journey. Our career advising staff is here to help you tell your story at every step of the application, interview, and negotiation process. Learn more and schedule an appointment.

How can students prepare for interviews and/or networking opportunities?

We offer a variety of opportunities for students to learn about networking, practice their interview skills, and be sure they have a polished professional image. Learn more about our online interviewing practice space called InterviewPrep, or schedule an appointment for a mock interview. You can also use Handshake for peer-to-peer messaging! With messaging, you can connect with other KSU Students to learn about their experiences, their major, and so much more. Use filters like major, previous employer, student organizations, and more to find your people and grow your network. Search from more than 18000+ KSU Students who are ready to chat!

How can students find jobs or internships in their fields?

Our career advising team is here to help you navigate Handshake and explore jobs and internships. Handshake is your resource for full-time employment, internships, co-ops, and even on-campus student employment. You can learn more about how to effectively prep for an internship and see if you are eligible to apply for internship funding opportunities!

What podcast are you currently listening to, or what book are you currently reading?

I am always listening to a Podcast, so this is a great question for me. I’m currently listening to The Arthur Brooks Show, which focuses on how to find meaning in our work and how to better appreciate people we disagree with. I’m also listening to Re: Thinking with Adam Grant, in which he explores ideas related to great minds challenging each other to think differently. The book I most recently read is called Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto, which provides tangible strategies for considering the role of higher education in our community and culture.

What’s your favorite part about higher education?

My favorite part about higher education is certainly being in the classroom. I have taught as a part-time faculty for the past 8 years and value the relationships and mentoring opportunities that come from supporting students in that space. I will continue to teach in the Career Navigation course here at KSU and look forward to supporting students as they explore careers and majors. Overall, I see higher education as the most important tool for individuals to seek upward social mobility and equitable access to a more fulfilling life and meaningful work. I’m proud to be a Flash and excited to be here at Kent State University!

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