#irl: getting real about the new CDC blog and newsletter

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Often times, days filled with papers, professors and Café Mac do not feel like real life. But the Center for Career Development (CDC) would like to remind students that experiences at Macalester and in the broader Twin Cities community, as well as skills like resume writing and interviewing, affect real life. Their new blog and accompanying newsletter, CDC #irl (in real life), was created to inform students about career development tools in a new, accessible format.

According to Lisa Ray, Communications Specialist at the CDC, the blog was conceived as a way to make information about careers and job skills more available to students: “Most career services [differentiate] between your time in college and your real life. We don’t see it that way at all. The hashtag, #irl, emphasizes that right now is your real life. You need resume writing skills right now, for example.”

Unlike the CDC’s previous newsletter, which was sent as a static email once a week, the the CDC #irl blog (and accompanying newsletter) is a permanent, searchable fixture. Each post is tagged and archived on the website to increase flexibility and simplicity for students. The CDC adds content on a regular basis. Ray commented, “Information now is much more, you seek it out when you need it, instead of it coming to you at the exact moment that you need it. If [the information] exists out there, and you can get to it … you can look at it at any time. That’s our goal with the blog.”

John Mountain, acting Director of the CDC, added that the new blog is just one of the many great tools that the CDC offers to students. Along with increasing accessibility to information, the new platform allows for better metrics and data analysis to inform future topics. She said, “In the most recent newsletter, the most popular article was on summer internships. Now we know that that is top of mind for students, so that informs what might be beneficial to put in future stories.”

The CDC hopes to continue making topical information more accessible to students. In fact, the staff are currently working to create a searchable database that aggregates all of the CDC’s content. Ray concluded, “I hope that we get feedback [on #irl] because we do need to know if we’re on the right track.”

Student response to the initiative is altogether positive. Maya Swope ’18 commented, “I don’t read it often, but it’s nice for reference if I heard about an event, and I want to find out the specific details.”

Sariyya Atayeva ’18 added, “I like the new format. The layout makes it easier for students to find what they’re looking for.”

Check out CDC #irl at macalester-cdc.squarespace.com