CELS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)



» What is CELS?
» What is ePortfolio?
» Why should I use ePortfolio and not a different type of resumé software?
» Why should I do the CELS Funded Internship Program?
» How many workshops do I have to complete?
» What are the workshops I will attend?
» What if I miss a workshop?
» If I apply and am accepted to a center certificate program (Ammerman, Goodwin-Niering, CISLA, Holleran) do I still have to complete the program?
» What are the CELS requirements if I am in a center program such as CISLA, Holleran, Goodwin-Niering or Ammerman Arts & Technology?
» Do the workshops ever end early?
» What if I can't make it to the workshop that I signed up for? Can I just show up for another one?
» If I missed a workshop, why can't I make it up with a counselor?
» Does everyone in the CELS internship program receive funding?
» Where is the best place to start searching for a job or internship? Should I focus on using the Internet job searches and apply electronically?
» Can I split my internship between two different places?
» How long does my internship need to be?
» Will academic probation or disciplinary action affect my eligibility for the internship?
» I already have my internship, so why do I need to attend the interview workshop?
» Where do I find my sponsor confirmation form?
» Will CELS help me get an internship after my first or second year?
» My CELS counselor hasn't found me an internship yet. What should I do?
» Can I study away and still do CELS?
» Can I study away the whole year and still complete my requirements?
» Other than job/internship help, what else can CELS do for me?
» What should I do if I need my resumé quickly and my counselor is booked?
» Is it OK to switch counselors?
» What if I don't want to participate in the program?
» What if I drop out of the program? Will CELS still help me?
» Who are CELS Fellows?
» How do I become a CELS Fellow?
» Where is CELS?
» What percentage of students participate in the Funded Internship Program?
» Why all the emails from CELS?
» Many students have gone through the CELS program. What has been their overall impression?

Q: What is CELS?

A. CELS is the Office of Career Enhancing Life Skills. On other campuses this might be the career services office, but our name reflects our philosophy and our goal of helping you begin planning for your future early in — and continually throughout — your college experience. CELS provides academic, internship, co-curricular and career advising through individual appointments, workshops and use of ePortfolio (online software that helps you build a professional resumé, monitor your CELS progress and more).

Back to Top »

Q: What is ePortfolio?

A. ePortfolio is an online interactive tool that you will use to build your resumé, complete workshops, document experiences and accomplishments, create effective cover letters and resumés and search for jobs.

Back to Top »

Q: Why should I use ePortfolio and not a different type of resumé software?

A. ePortfolio is easy to use and will automatically format your resumé into a Word document once you input information on your experiences and skills. This creates an easy format to customize and personalize your resumé. Many software programs create cumbersome formats that are difficult to edit and customize. However, you are always welcome to use alternate software and upload the resumé into your ePortfolio for archiving purposes.

Back to Top »

Q: Why should I do the CELS Funded Internship Program?

A. The CELS funded internship process will supply you with the tools necessary to pursue a College-funded internship the summer after your junior year and make you eligible for an internship educational award of up to $3,000. The process begins in your freshman and sophomore years with a set of required workshops, plus appointments and assignments. (You will take the seventh and final workshop during your junior year.) Each workshop is 60-90 minutes long, during which you'll accomplish tasks vital to securing a post-college career, including creating targeted resumés, honing interview skills, learning how professionals communicate, writing cover letters and more. In your senior year, you will be ready to work with your CELS counselor on a career search, graduate school advising or other postbaccalaureate plans because you will have built a strong base from which to move forward.

Back to Top »

Q: How many workshops do I have to complete?

A. All of them, if you want to qualify for the College-funded internship. There are a total of seven workshops, six of which you'll take during your first two years. You'll complete the final workshop, CELS 7, during your junior year. During your senior year, you will hand in a reflection paper on your funded internship experience and how it influences your academic and career choices. 

Back to Top »

Q: What are the workshops I will attend?

A. They are:

CELS 1 — Interests to Engagement: Introduction to CELS and ePortfolio
CELS 2 — Personality Type and Temperament
CELS 3 — Skills to Resumé
CELS 4 — Professional Communication
CELS 5 — Create and Find Your Internship
CELS 6 — Interview Tips and Techniques
CELS 7 — Make the Most of Your Internship

Back to Top »

Q: What if I miss a workshop?

A. The CELS office works hard to schedule a variety of different days and times for each workshop so you can find one that fits your schedule. You should make every effort to attend each workshop you sign up to take. If you miss a workshop, you must contact Chris Terry at (860) 439-2004 as soon as possible to explain why and reschedule.

Back to Top »

Q: If I apply and am accepted to a center certificate program (Ammerman, Goodwin-Niering, CISLA, Holleran), do I still have to complete the CELS program?

A. Yes. Any student hoping to get a funded internship through either CELS or one of the centers must complete the CELS workshops and corresponding requirements, without exception.

Back to Top »

Q: What are the CELS requirements if I am in a center program such as CISLA, Holleran, Goodwin-Niering or Ammerman?

A. The requirements are essentially the same for all center and CELS students. There may be specific requirements related to scholarship in a particular center, but those will be communicated by the center.

Back to Top »

Q: Do the workshops ever end early?

A. Sometimes, but they aren't a huge time commitment to begin with, so use the time wisely.

Back to Top »

Q: What if I can't make it to the workshop that I signed up for? Can I just show up for another one?

A. No. A limited number of seats are available, particularly in the computer classrooms. In case of an emergency, call Chris Terry at (860) 439-2004 as soon as possible prior to the workshop so she can offer your spot to someone else. She will also discuss with you the possibility of attending another workshop.

Back to Top »

Q: If I missed a workshop, why can't I make it up with a counselor?

A. While it would be nice to have the flexibility to offer workshops on a one-on-one basis, the number of students participating in the program prevents CELS from offering individual workshops.

Back to Top »

Q: Does everyone in the CELS internship program receive funding?

A. No. Students must qualify for the funded internship program by attending all the workshops and by completing the necessary appointments and assignments. There are also a number of eligibility rules stating that students must be in good academic and social standing and that the internship must be a minimum of 300 hours and under the direction of one supervisor. Students who fail to meet the mandatory requirements will lose their funding eligibility. The program guarantees up to $3,000 for your internship. Qualified students who are paid less than $3,000 by their employers will receive the difference, and those who are paid more than $3,000 will not receive additional funds. This is to optimize the internship funds available and include those students who would not otherwise be able to have this experience. If you have questions, contact your counselor. 

Back to Top »

Q: Where is the best place to start searching for a job or internship? Should I focus on using the Internet job searches and apply electronically?

A. The ePortfolio and CELS websites are great places to start your search, as is networking. A high percentage of all internships — and jobs at all levels — are found through networking. You may also search independently at companies and organizations in which you are interested. Applying electronically is widely accepted, but make sure you read the application instructions completely. The bottom line: Meet with your counselor to strategize about your search process.

Back to Top »

Q: Can I split my internship between two different places?

A. No. All 300 hours must be worked at one employer because we've found it to be more impactful for our students. Often the first few weeks of an internship are spent becoming familiar with an organization, its structure and your responsibilities. That means the most important part of your internship happens after you've been at it awhile: more learning, networking and contributing.

Back to Top »

Q: How long does my internship need to be?

A. The funded internship must be a minimum of 300 hours, completed in the summer following your junior year.

Back to Top »

Q: Will academic probation or disciplinary action affect my eligibility for the CELS internship?

A. Yes. If placed on probation, you should notify Chris Terry at (860) 439-2004 immediately to discuss it. You need to be a student in good standing to be eligible for the funding.

Back to Top »

Q: I already have my internship. So why do I need to attend the interview workshop?

A. The interview workshop teaches important interview skills and will be useful for future interviews during your job search. It is a requirement for the funding as well.

Back to Top »

Q: Where do I find my sponsor confirmation form?

A. It is in the CELS Handout Folder found on the right side of the ePortfolio screen. Also, it is in CamelWeb — look under Academic Resources, then CELS Resources.

Back to Top »

Q: Will CELS help me get an internship after my first or second year?

A. Yes. CELS will assist you in the internship search process after your first year or your sophomore year, including helping you develop a resumé. We have had both first-year and sophomore students find and successfully complete many internships. However these are often part-time and unpaid.

Back to Top »

Q: My CELS counselor hasn't found me an internship yet. What should I do?

A. The counselors and student staff teach students the process of finding your own internship. This prepares you for your future job search. Counselors will assist in your search but are not responsible for finding internships. CELS is not a placement service.

Back to Top »

Q: Can I study away and still participate in the CELS program?

A. Yes. Just remain in contact with your counselor and make sure to do your required workshops and assignments before you leave.

Back to Top »

Q: Can I study away the whole year and still complete my CELS requirements?

A. Yes. Just make sure you meet and discuss all junior year requirements with your counselor during your sophomore year and stay in regular contact during your time studying away.

Back to Top »

Q: Other than job/internship help, what else can CELS do for me?

A. A lot. We work with students to help them plan their course schedule, evaluate major and minor choices, and connect to leadership and co-curricular involvements that can help them explore their interests. In addition, we do introduction and follow-up on personality/preference type (Myers-Briggs), and graduate, law, health and business school advising to help you with the process and direct you to the experts in the faculty.

Back to Top »

Q: What should I do if I need my resumé quickly and my counselor is booked?

A. Students should contact and make an appointment with our trained CELS Fellows. CELS encourages all students to create a resumé early in their college career so it is available when needed.

Back to Top »

Q: Is it OK to switch counselors?

A. Yes. Contact Chris Terry at (860) 439-2004 to schedule an appointment with another counselor.

Back to Top »

Q: What if I don't want to participate in the CELS program?

A. CELS will still assist you with your resumé, cover letter, job search, graduate school advice, etc.

Back to Top »

Q: What if I drop out of the program? Will CELS still help me?

A. Yes.

Back to Top »

Q: Who are CELS Fellows?

A. CELS Fellows are students who have been trained in the CELS program. They provide assistance to the CELS counselors at workshops and help other students with resumé, cover letter and search assistance.

Back to Top »

Q: How do I become a CELS Fellow?

A. The selection process to become a member of the CELS student staff takes place during the spring of your sophomore year. You will start seeing information about the process when you return to campus from winter break. You can also ask your counselor or a student staff member for more information.

Back to Top »

Q: Where is the CELS office?

A. CELS is located at Vinal Cottage, across the street from the main entrance to the College on Route 32.

Back to Top »

Q: What percentage of students participate in the Funded Internship program?

A. Approximately 88 percent of Connecticut College students complete the program.

Back to Top »

Q: Why all the emails from CELS?

A. We know that Connecticut College students are busy, so we email reminders about upcoming workshops and to tell you about recruiters on campus, new internships and employment opportunities. We try hard to limit what we send, but it is important that you are informed about possible employment or internship opportunities.

Back to Top »

Q: Many students have gone through the program. What has been their overall impression?

A. Each year the CELS office surveys students about our program so that we may continue to provide excellent services. We do listen to your comments and suggestions and work hard to provide the tools and services you will need throughout your four years at Connecticut College. Listed below are some of the comments we have received:

  • The ePortfolio and the one-on-one meetings with my CELS adviser were great!
  • Unique, rewarding opportunity; all my friends at other schools are jealous.
  • Overall I better understand the process of finding and obtaining a job. I feel I am more prepared for after college.
  • It was a great way to learn how to interview and make resumés.
  • It's very helpful in guiding us through the process of finding out what we are interested in and how to choose what area to pursue.
  • It's such an amazing opportunity; it really puts you on the path.
  • Great! I think it makes our College really stand out above the rest.

More important, we have never had anyone come to CELS and say they were happy they either dropped out or didn't do the program. If you're in doubt, talk to upperclassmen, CELS counselors and our student staff about the benefits of participating. Our aim is to help support your interests — academic and career — in any way we can.

We look forward to your success.