September 10, 2019
A generous gift to Mars Hill University is helping students become better prepared for life after college. The university will hold an open house and ribbon cutting for the new Cothran Center for Career Readiness on Friday, September 13, 2019.
President Tony Floyd led the university to a new emphasis on developing a modernized career center on campus. A gift from John and Jeanette Watson Cothran of Greenville, South Carolina, helped the university realize that initiative. Jeanette Cothran is an alumna of Mars Hill, and the family wanted to make a transformative gift to her alma mater.
“Many colleges offer degrees and diplomas,” says Floyd. “We are doing more. We are providing a free center for students to be able to really get help in determining a direction in their life, find meaningful work, find a path toward a life of service and financial stability.”
The Cothran Center for Career Readiness provides opportunities for students to explore internships and careers, to work on their resumes, to practice interview skills, and more. Among its key goals is to assist students in the search to discover more about themselves and their true calling in life – who they are in their most authentic selves, where their passions lie, and what the world needs from them.
“We’re telling them, ‘this is YOUR future,'” says James Knight, director of the Cothran Center. “It’s not about my job. It’s not about the school. It’s all about them. We’re making this concentrated effort – investments of time, energy, and money – to create programs and events that will show them what it takes to be professional men and women in the working world.”
Knight says the Cothran Center has a full slate of activities planned for the fall semester. Those include symposiums on professionalism, mock interviews with hiring managers and HR professionals from surrounding companies, freshman dorm activities which invite students to focus on finding their calling or passions, career fairs, graduate school fairs, and events to help students find majors which best suit their goals.
The Cothran Center also provides Mars Hill students with access to an innovative online service called Handshake, which connects them to job and internship opportunities all across the country. It makes it easy for each student to take ownership of, and manage, their career goals and job searches.
Knight says, “It’s up to them to learn and practice these habits every day, a little bit at a time. These are learned behaviors. And just like an athlete or musician learns early, if skills aren’t practiced, they don’t just magically appear.”
The Cothran Center for Career Readiness is on the second floor of Day Hall, at 28 College Street in Mars Hill. The open house on Friday, September 13, runs from 12-2:30 p.m., with the ribbon cutting scheduled for 2 p.m.