This double Husky prepares Charlotte nursing students for career success
May. 16, 2022
How does Northeastern University – Charlotte prepare students for success during their studies and following graduation?
Here to talk about that is Tia Keck, academic advisor serving second-degree nursing students at Bouvé College of Health Sciences on the Charlotte campus.
“I tell students, ‘My overall goal is to help you achieve your academic and professional goals,’” said Keck, who worked for Northeastern’s Boston campus for seven years before coming to Charlotte in 2017. She’s also a double Husky, having earned her bachelor’s degree in organizational communication and master’s degree in health informatics from the Boston campus.
Getting set up for success — academically and professionally — begins the moment students become Huskies.
For example, there’s PAWS (Peers Always Welcome Students), a peer mentor program for nursing students that allows older students to be there for newer students, offering advice on classes and even where to grab a bite to eat in Charlotte. There’s also peer tutoring, which helps students being tutored to get extra help. But it also prepares those serving as tutors to pick up valuable teaching and communication skills, which will serve them well in their nursing careers.
When she first meets with students, Keck’s focus is on helping them be successful as students. She helps them develop study and time management skills needed for a rigorous accelerated program, identify helpful resources like tutoring and come up with strategies for balancing school and family life.
As students across Northeastern University global campuses advance in their studies, Employer Engagement and Career Design is there to support their transition to new career with things like workshops and job fairs. The goal, of course, is helping students understand how to be successful in job interviews and navigate new fields.
Keck supports Employer Engagement and Career design by connecting area healthcare companies, such as Atrium Health and Novant Health, with highly skilled and trained nursing talent to add to their ranks.
But before her nursing graduates get to those interviews, Keck helps them craft their resumes and cover letters. She strives to get students to see – and communicate – how their skills from past jobs give them an edge in their new careers.
“We have nursing students who were teachers prior to enrolling. That background helps them learn the material faster. And they sometimes become peer tutors,” Keck said. “In nursing there is so much patient education. They can use those skills in that environment.”
Keck tries to get students to imagine how future versions of their resume will look – after they have more hands-on experience and accomplishments to note.
“I want them to have the skills they need now when applying for jobs and also years from now,” she said.
As for her own job, Keck said it’s incredibly satisfying, noting, “My favorite is when students come to me with multiple job offers.”
Amy George is a writer based in Charlotte, North Carolina. She writes about health care, business and more.