PTK Posts: Student Q&A with Career Services

Phi Theta Kappa logo with key on topMembers of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society chapter at the Quad-Cities Campus are writing PTK Posts for their 2021 College Project. College Projects are a way for PTK chapters to engage and give back to their colleges.

The goal of PTK Posts is for Quad-Cities Campus PTK members to share student stories and information to help current and prospective BHC students be successful and happy with their college experience. Earlier this year, PTK officers conducted a survey of current BHC students/PTK members to ask what BHC services they had the most questions about.

One of the top Black Hawk College resources students had questions about was Career Services, which offers free employment assistance to students and community members. In this post, Leah Mueller, PTK vice president of service, worked with Angela Striegel, Black Hawk College coordinator of career planning/placement, to find out more about Career Services.

Read on to see what Angela had to share!

The basics

smiling woman
Angela Striegel, BHC coordinator of career planning/placement

Could you give us a quick overview of Career Services?

Career Services provides students with guidance for their future career goals. If you’re not sure what you want to do after college, Career Services can help you determine your strengths and interests and how those apply to the world of work.

Once your goals are in place, Career Services can help you take practical steps to succeed, including résumé and cover letter writing, job applications, the job search process, and improving interviewing skills.

Finally, you will have access to a network of employers through our online job board and career fairs.

Job hunt advice

What’s your advice for a recent grad looking for a job? 

Three things:

  • Network – Networking is one of the best ways to find employment. Start with family members, friends, neighbors, coworkers and professors to inquire about opportunities and get some leads. Join and attend professional organization meetings in your field. Volunteer. Use LinkedIn.
  • Research – It’s important to know what employers are looking for in new hires. Go to Indeed and find job descriptions that interest you. Identify repeated key words and phrases. Highlight those skills in your résumé, cover letter and throughout interviews.
  • Use Career Services – We are here to support you every step of your journey!

“Hot” careers

What are some “hot” careers?

This is a tricky question because there are different ways to determine what makes a job “hot.” You also have different variables to consider like years of education or type of degree required for each job. U.S. News and World Report has a list of the 100 Best Jobs of 2021 that covers everything from software developers to physical therapist assistants, to mechanical engineers to phlebotomists.

A good place to research “hot careers” is O*NET Online. This site uses U.S. Department of Labor statistics to share employment information and trends in an easy to understand format. O*NET highlights Bright Outlook Careers, which are occupations expected to grow rapidly in the next several years or that will have large numbers of job openings. Some jobs that stick out to me are accountants, computer and information systems managers, court reporters, health information specialists, CNAs, LPNs, registered nurses, surgical technologists and web developers.

Interview advice

I have an interview next week. How do I get ready for it?

Great question!

woman sitting at a desk using a computer to try out the interview equipment at Careers ServicesRemember how we talked earlier about research? It’s important to research the company you are interviewing with and learn as much about the organization and the position as you can. The knowledge you gain will increase your comfort level and confidence during the interview. It will become apparent to the interviewer that you did your homework, which demonstrates your interest and excitement about the opportunity.

It’s also very important to practice. Don’t go into an interview cold turkey. Review common interview questions. Rehearse with a friend or practice in front of a mirror. Use Big Interview, a cool platform provided to you free of charge as a BHC student. You can watch videos about the interview process and you can take the opportunity to practice your answers using your computer’s video function. Create your Big Interview account using organization code 0542.

Finally, schedule a mock interview with Career Services. We’ll work with you to fine tune responses and answer any questions you have about the interview process. You can also schedule an appointment with Career Services for help researching the company and position.

Getting in touch

How can I find out what is going on with Career Services?  

Stop by during office hours to say “Hi.” We’re here Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Quad-Cities Campus in Building 1 between the library and the Hawk’s Hub bookstore. You can also follow us on Facebook (@BHCCareerServices) and Twitter (@BHCCareerServ). Need an appointment? Call Career Services at 309-796-5626 or email me at

Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society for two-year college students. Black Hawk College has a PTK chapter at each campus. The honor society focuses on leadership, fellowship, service and scholarship. Our members lead the chapter each year, hold meetings and activities to help students build a network with other students, participate together in service opportunities on campus and in the community, and are recognized for their high academic success. PTK has many scholarship opportunities for members, whether they are transferring to another college or joining the workforce after BHC. For more information about PTK, visit or email our Quad-Cities Campus Chapter Advisor Nicole Banks.

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