Wilburt Best managed his own staffing firm for more than 15 years. Now he’s using his knowledge and experience with the local job market to benefit the students of Porter & Chester Institute. In his role as Career Services Advisor, Wilburt works one-on-one with students to help them explore job opportunities in their new field. And he loves what he does.
“The best part of my job is that I get to help people change their lives,” said Wilburt. “I watch the students become more confident, more knowledgeable, a better version of themselves. I get to watch the whole process and I find it very rewarding.”
Working for himself, Wilburt gained a lot of experience contracting his staffing personnel to companies looking for employees in clerical, HVAC and general labor positions. He learned what employers were looking for in job candidates and how to inspire employees to meet their needs.
Those are the skills he’s brought to students and graduates of Porter and Chester Institute, first at the Rocky Hill campus, then later the Branford campus. He’s been a Career Services Advisor for five years now and says that he starts forming relationships with new students on day one when they come in for orientation. By getting to know each of the students personally, he’s able to understand their personalities and career goals so he can help them customize their resumes and find job openings that could be just the right fit.
As students learn how to master their new skills in their classrooms, labs, and shops, they’re simultaneously learning important professional skills in Wilburt’s monthly seminars. In these seminars, Wilburt coaches students on resume building, networking, practicing and dressing for job interviews, and using proper social media etiquette.
“Now that they have a great education from the great instructors here at Porter and Chester Institute, it’s my job to go in and give them the skills they need to land the job,” said Wilburt. “It’s my job to calm their nerves and show them how to stand out to hiring managers.”
Wilburt also works closely with the Nursing and Medical Assisting students to help them prepare for externships. He coaches them on what to expect and how to conduct themselves while they’re out observing in the field. It’s extremely important that the students act professionally because it could make all the difference in getting a job offer upon graduation. Wilburt says that he sees many Medical Assisting graduates get hired straight from their externship positions!
Wilburt doesn’t just focus on students. He also reaches out to area employers to find out what their needs are. He’s constantly networking to learn about new positions and to gain insight into the type of skills employers expect from job candidates. Wilburt uses the feedback for his students, but also shares it with Porter and Chester Institute so they can always work to improve the curriculum. Employers are even invited to join the Program Advisory Committees at the school and review the curriculum to ensure that students are getting the kinds of training employers want.
“I’ll have employers calling me up saying ‘Send me more students like the last one I hired.’ It’s a great feeling! We’ll invite employers into the school to talk to the students. They’ll conduct interviews right here at the school and hire students on the spot,” Wilburt said.
Wilburt said the best part about Porter & Chester Institute is that graduates can come back at any time to take advantage of Career Placement Services. If a graduate is looking to change jobs, they can come back to the school for assistance with their new job search. Just recently, Wilburt worked with a HVAC graduate who graduated in 2010 and was able to connect him with St. Joseph’s Healthcare –where he got a job!