It wasn’t all that long ago that a career centers’ main focus on college campuses was to assist students with resumes, help them draft a cover letter and work through mock interviews. Although those are important tools for a student’s toolbox, the question on every student’s mind come graduation is “now what?” True to form, Colorado Mesa University’s approach to career readin

ess for students and alumni may look a bit different than other universities. In recent years, CMU Career Services has developed new ways of connecting employers and students by better bridging the communication gap. With a fresh perspective and a new vision, the partnerships between Colorado Mesa University, Western Colorado Community College and area businesses are stronger and more effective than ever.

CMU and WCCC help fuel workforce development for the Grand Valley, not just by educating students, but by ensuring that graduates are prepared to hit the ground running are best equipped for an in-demand job market. Traditional methods of connecting students to employers still exist, including the traditional career fair. Now employers can expect to take advantage of more personalized services from the CMU team on outreach to students. Leaning into partnerships, like the one with the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce, allows Career Services to directly connect and match students to employment and internship opportunities that best fit their skill sets. By offering open communication between employers and CMU, the career team is able to hear in real time what workforce needs are and adjust accordingly. Department advisory boards, such as the Computer Science & Cyber Security Industry Advisory Council (IAC) offer ways for faculty and employers to open dialog about industry needs and help ensure programs are meeting those needs.

CMU’s Career Services may have a few new faces to the team, but they are familiar faces around the valley. Director of Career Services Sadye Saad comes to CMU from Timberline Bank. Sadye has spent the past 17 years in marketing and communications and will focus on the continued growth of Career Services. Jennifer Pacheco, assistant director of Career Services is a Grand Junction native and CMU alumna whose role will focus on faculty and student relations.

Baily Manuppella is the Workforce Development Liaison and is a recent CMU graduate who will be working closely with employers. Baily’s role is a shared position between CMU and the Mesa County Workforce Center, which works to build stronger relationships between students, alumni and the community.

The Career Services team is an employer’s direct line to a viable, qualified workforce. The career team is there to help facilitate connections to CMU departments and faculty, set up recruitment opportunities on campus, organize social events to connect with students, and help employers utilize digital tools such as Handshake to connect with students and alumni on job and internship opportunities. In working with the CMU career team, employers gain access to exceptional candidates, it’s a win-win.

A revamped Career Services department means meeting students earlier on in their education, working to offer alternative pathways for WCCC students in emerging trade industries and building on existing relationships with local groups. This means more tools in the toolbox for students and employers alike.

Interested in learning more? Contact CMU Career Services: or 970-248-1404.

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