Preparing Students for the Real World

Lansing Director of Career Services Alex Watkins and Externship Coordinator Dominique Vaughn with Admissions Representative Monique Lewis and Ophthalmic student Betty Drumheller at the sign-in desk for CQLC’s May 2018 Job Fair.
Pictured: Lansing Director of Career Services Alex Watkins and Externship Coordinator Dominique Vaughn pictured with Admissions Representative Monique Lewis and Ophthalmic Student Betty Drumheller at the sign-in desk for Career Quest Learning Centers May 2018 Job Fair’

Helping students find fulfilling careers is so important, it’s right there in our name. This means that in addition to giving students an education, our team is skilled at helping them with the other skills they’ll need to accomplish their career goals.

Our Career Center prepares students for their future with job services that complement our programs. The Center is open extended hours to help accommodate the schedules of busy, working students, and the Lansing and Jackson campuses provide access to computers, Internet service, placement coordinators and job support in one convenient location.

Talisa McKissic has worked in education for five years, and she started as Career Quest’s Regional Director of Career Services in June. She’s excited about the potential for changing lives and says that it’s important to start working with students from the beginning of their Career Quest experience.

“People can be nervous at the idea of being a professional when they finish, so we talk to them early on to help them deal with any feelings of anxiety or fear they might have,” she says. “Then we work with them on skills that include resume building, interviewing, workplace conflict, communication skills and other issues they’ll face in the workplace.”

McKissic says the Career Quest staff helps students build their career skills wherever they can. “Since this is such a career-focused school, there are a lot of opportunities to talk through issues in the classroom,” she says. “We address how to deal with conflict, how to present ideas, how to dress professionally and other things like that.”

Lansing Externship Coordinator Dominique Vaughn works with area employers to establish externship opportunities for students, which allows them to acquire hands-on, real world experience before they graduate.

“I help students take what they learn in the classroom and put it to good practice in the real world,” Vaughn explains. “This gives them a valuable learning experience to prepare them for their careers when they graduate.” 

We also bring employers right to the campus, whether that’s to offer information or participate in career fairs, offering students the chance to practice their interview skills and often lands jobs.

We’re focused on what’s beneficial for students and employers, so we do what’s most convenient for both groups, whether that’s providing transportation or hosting a job fair,” McKissic says. “It’s all about helping our students transform their thoughts into actuality.”



“I am a completely different person than when I started my program. I have so much more confidence now. I really think I can do anything if I put my mind to it. Before I started here, I wasn’t very happy with my life. Now I’m smiling all the time.” 


“Don’t be afraid. They have thought of everything in this school to make it so that you succeed."