When Kevin Schultz changed jobs from working primarily with homeless kids to IU South Bend Career Services not long before the pandemic, he didn’t know just how closely those two paths would align.
“A lot of my previous work was to find young folks who are struggling and assess what their struggle is, what they need, and then try and connect them to the people who can get them out of that situation,” he said. “So, when I got this job, Kim (Moore), my boss, said she had always wanted to like expand our services to the community. And I was like, ‘oh, yes please!’ I thought, ‘awesome’.”
Because he had the background working in the community, the Career Services team had the ability to help beyond campus. Schultz has been working to present career readiness information to people at the Center for the Homeless, Transformation Ministries, and working to expand to other organizations, including La Casa de Amistad and the South Bend-Elkhart Regional Partnership.
Schultz had begun reaching out to organizations last spring when Covid hit, stifling most activity. He began redoubling his efforts in December. Coaching began earlier this spring.
“Coming from the non-profit world myself, I know how much social workers in those positions wear a lot of hats,” he said. “Having someone who does career coaching for a living offer programs is one less hat.”
Schultz has helped clients of the organizations with things such as understanding the job market and building resumes. At Transformation Ministries tutoring days for high-school students, he and others did a presentation on finding your purpose. At the Center for the Homeless, he has been conducting a weekly workshop series on topics such as finances and career readiness.
Schultz said he is also working to increase ties to other organizations, such as La Casa de Amistad when its new building is complete.
Career Services offers comprehensive services to IU South Bend students, who are clearly the priority, but is eager to share what they can in the broader community.
“IUSB is a South Bend School and in effect is all the community members in this area,” Schultz said. “So, the goal here is sort of like to build a sense of like trust and rapport with people on the street or people in situations like this too. And yes, yes, a rising tide lifts all ships.”