The photo stand adds to a range of tools to help students with career readiness
August 7, 2023
The latest addition to the Center for Professional Development and Career Readiness is a photo stand that all students, faculty, and staff at NMHU can use, free of charge, to take professional headshots.
According to Reynaldo Maestas, Director of the Center, the photo stand fills a gap in services for students who often cannot afford to pay out of pocket for a professional headshot. For students, these headshots can be used on websites, presentations or panel materials, social media, as a Zoom photo, and on LinkedIn, among other possibilities.
“Our photo stand will offer students every competitive advantage as they embark on the professional process,” Maestas said.
The photo stand is called an Iris Air, which is designed to be mobile despite its 200-pound weight. While it will sometimes be available on-site at various campus events, due to its weight, the stand will usually be housed in the Career Closet on the second floor of the Felix Martinez Building in Suite 230. The user-friendly interface of the photo stand will make it easy for students and employees at NMHU to take professional headshots and edit them on the spot.
“All you need is an email address; as soon as you put in your email the lights appear and you get to take three different photos and edit them there,” Maestas said. “You can even whiten your teeth or remove blemishes, and you get to do a retake if you’d like. Students can also access their photos and the digital software needed on their laptops if they want to edit their photos later.”
The photo stand was an idea initiated by President Sam Minner who learned from other university Presidents that the photo stand was driving student engagement in career services offices on campuses around the country. When students come in for a headshot, they often stay to take advantage of the other services provided by the university.
The NMHU Center for Professional Development and Career Readiness offers a range of services to students, including professional development training, resume and cover letter coaching, interview skills, and assistance navigating campus employment, among other things. In addition, the Center helps students create co-curricular transcripts.
“An academic transcript tells the story of what you did academically in college, and now, a co-curricular transcript can tell the story of the leadership roles, community service, event support, and other things a student has engaged in,” Maestas said. “When students apply for jobs and internships that require a transcript, they can attach this co-curricular transcript, too, and it’s a great talking point for employers.”
So far, Maestas has moved the photo stand for two student orientations and plans to use it for the upcoming fall semester orientation so students can use the photos needed for campus housing and for their student IDs. With careful planning, Maestas also hopes to take the photo stand to the various NMHU Centers around the state so students in other locations can take headshots and learn more about the many services offered by the Center for Professional Development and Career Services.