After completing Tarrant County College’s Aviation Maintenance Technology program, Clark Bohrer was ready for his first job. From aircraft propellers to landing gear systems, he had mastered every class.
“I’ve known since I was a kid that I wanted to work around airplanes, so I was excited to get started with my career,” said Bohrer, who graduated in 2019. “I felt really prepared for actually working in the industry.”
What he wasn’t as prepared for, however, was securing a position.
“It was a little nerve-wracking to think about getting to that end goal,” Bohrer remembered. “I knew what I wanted to do but not exactly where. I just wanted to get a job and get my hands dirty.”
Bohrer had the perfect opportunity to take a step in that direction through a specialized job fair organized by the College’s Erma C. Johnson Hadley Northwest Center of Excellence for Aviation, Transportation and Logistics. He knew that before he attended the fair, he needed to get prepared. Bohrer turned to the experts with TCC Career Services, which was collaborating on the event.
With offices on each campus, Career Services provides comprehensive tools and resources that allow students and alumni to identify fields where they will excel, develop job search skills and locate internships and employment.
“All students are encouraged to begin their career planning early, to have the best chance of landing the position they want,” explained Tracy Williams, coordinator of Career Services at TCC Northwest. “We are here to help every step of the way.”
While setting students up for a smooth entry into the workforce, TCC’s Career Services offices work directly with area employers to raise awareness of job openings and meet the business community’s needs.
“The College is a great partner for companies of all industries building their presence and operations in North Texas,” said Williams. “We have a vast number of students being trained with the latest technologies and practices in a wide variety of fields.”
Every day, dozens of those students take advantage of Career Services’ one-on-one support, which includes guidance for acing interviews and getting the interview in the first place.
To get his cover letter and résumé in peak form before the aviation job fair, Bohrer sat down with Cassie Fennel, student development specialist in TCC Northwest Career Services.
“I went to her with what I thought was a pretty good idea of a résumé, but together we completely remodeled it and wrote a cover letter that was more appealing,” said Bohrer. “With her advice, I could present myself in the best light.”
Fennel notes that Bohrer had the necessary knowledge and excellent potential—and was committed to setting himself apart among job seekers.
“Clark was a great listener, asked wonderful questions and took my suggestions seriously to showcase his qualifications for an employer to recognize,” she said.
Like many of his peers, Bohrer had not yet held a job in the field he studied. Fennel worked with him to highlight the marketable skills he developed through his education and experiences. The process was transformative. When Bohrer attended the fair, multiple employers sought him out for interviews, including US Aviation Academy.
“Clark’s cover letter and résumé definitely stood out,” said Erica Mahan, who handles talent acquisition for US Aviation Academy. “His résumé was clear and easy to read, and it had everything that I look for. Clark’s cover letter painted a personal picture—who he is, what his background is and where he wants to go.”
Mahan attends TCC job fairs regularly.
“It’s really important to get in the field and do grassroots recruiting,” she remarked. “I get to have real conversations with applicants about what our company represents.”
Offerings by Career Services extend beyond individual student assistance and promotion of employment opportunities through fairs, other on-campus recruitment and an online network. Career Services offices partner with academic departments to bring industry professionals to classes and special events, creating stronger connections between college and what’s to come.
“Talking to those actually working in the industry enhances understanding of a chosen field,” said Williams. “Picturing the reality of their profession gives students a more focused goal while getting their education.”
And visits by industry professionals are about more than providing technical, job-specific information. TCC Northwest Career Services recently worked with Christina Ross, associate professor of speech, to hold a mock office party. Williams’ staff identified professionals who could come to Ross’ Business & Professional Communication class and mingle with students in order to enhance conversation and networking skills.
“With Career Services’ connections, we found people who work in fields many of my students were interested in, and the Career Services team also networked with students during the party, telling them about their services and possible jobs with specific majors,” recalled Ross, who turned to Career Services to assist with mock interviews for the course as well.
Ross is TCC’s faculty lead for guided pathways, the process of helping students navigate coursework, earn a degree or certificate and begin a career. She works closely with Career Services in this role.
“The guided pathways model begins with students’ career exploration and identification of a professional goal,” said Ross. “Career Services also gives faculty and advisors a better understanding of the career and employment options for students in various majors and programs.”
In addition, Career Services works with TCC Financial Aid to post student worker jobs—which come with both immediate and future benefits.
“Those positions give students the ability to stay on campus and earn money,” said Williams. “Plus, students gain real experience and learn to work as part of a professional team. Those things serve them well as they enter the workforce outside of college.”
Seeing students achieve their goals is extremely rewarding to the Career Services team. Fennel was thrilled to learn Bohrer was hired on the spot as an aircraft maintenance technician at US Aviation Academy.
“It is a proud moment when students contact me to let me know they got they position they were applying for,” commented Fennel. “They are always so appreciative and excited, and it is very satisfying knowing I played a part in something they worked so hard toward.”
Both Bohrer and Mahan, US Aviation Academy’s recruiter, highly recommend Career Services.
“A lot of people need assistance in this area,” Mahan pointed out. “Even experienced pilots and aviation mechanics I meet can struggle with their résumé and how to do an interview. TCC students are fortunate to have this resource.”
Find more information about TCC’s career services.