When Brian Allen tells students that they need to be passionate about what they’re doing, he knows what he’s talking about.
“I come to work every day and look at the clock, not thinking I wish the day was over,” said Brian, “but wondering where did the day go? Time flies, especially when you like what you do.”
Brian is a Career Service Advisor at Porter and Chester Institute and he doesn’t just like his job; he’s passionate about it.
An Air Force Veteran with a law enforcement background, Brian found civilian work at Standard Electric where he worked in Human Resources hiring, training and recruiting employees. The company gave him a great foundation for his next career move as a career recruiter, but it wasn’t until he started connecting career school graduates with area employers that he found his true calling.
“This is probably the happiest I’ve been in my life,” said Brian, “and it’s because I’m doing this kind of work.”
The only problem Brian encountered was that his school’s job candidates kept getting beat out by Porter and Chester graduates.
“I lost a number of placements to Porter and Chester students,” said Brian. “Employers would give me feedback and they would say ‘these Porter and Chester students are much better than yours.’”
So when the school Brian was employed at closed, he knew where he wanted to work.
“I wanted to go to the best possible place I could to do this work,” said Brian. “I wanted to go to Porter and Chester Institute.”
And the feedback Brian gets now is more satisfying than ever. It’s his students that employers want. According to Brian, employers say the Porter and Chester grads are better than ever. Not only do they have the technical skills they’re looking for; they have the soft skills that really make a difference.
“I tell students all the time that employers rank their technical skills at about a 7 or 8,” said Brian, “but everything else they’re looking for is about those soft skills.”
Brian says that he explains to students that many of the traits that will help them succeed in the classroom are the very same ones employers are looking for: reliability, a good attitude, a good work ethic.
“That’s what employers are looking for,” said Brian. “They want dependable and reliable employees who will show up for work on time and do a good job.”
That’s why Brian spends so much time emphasizing those soft skills while students are at Porter and Chester. He says he pokes his head into their classrooms that first week they’re on campus and introduces himself and the Career Services Department. Then, he helps run a 12 seminar professional development program designed to give all Porter and Chester students the soft skills that will really help them compete in the workforce.
Brian believes that Porter and Chester Institute gives students a great foundation for success but says that graduates also “need to build and nurture their career paths.” Brian didn’t just jump into the career of his dreams; he built it over time and loves what he does now –showing Porter and Chester students and graduates how to follow a path to success that fits their own talents and interests.