Career services mulling potential overhaul

Career services at the University will undergo a number of broad changes over the next year focused on improving coordination among the 11 career centers across campus.

Acting on recommendations from a yearlong task force, a new career services advisory council will spend the fall semester studying career support at other universities and meeting with students and alumni to decide how to better serve student employment needs.

In the first of two major recommendations, the original task force – co-chaired by Dean of Students Peter Konwerski and Vice Dean for Programs and Education in the GW School of Business Murat Tarimcilar – keyed in on coordination issues.

“The task force acknowledged that we have several career centers at the University serving different populations, and they wanted to look at opportunities to bring them all together,” Executive Director of University Initiatives Robert Snyder said.

Career services currently operates under a hybrid model, where students can seek support from individual schools or the campus-wide Career Center.

The advisory council – comprised of directors of career services across the University as well as student and alumni representatives – also aims to foster internships and mentoring, link career services to curricula, engage alumni and prepare students for future employment trends.

Through town halls and other meetings with stakeholders, such as students, faculty, the Alumni Association and the Office of Entrepreneurship, the advisory council will serve as a “focus group to bounce ideas off of,” Snyder said.

An update on the direction of the recommendations will be presented to the Board of Trustees in October. Implementation of the ideas, Snyder said, would likely roll out beginning next semester.

“The career services we offer should not be operating in a fixed, concrete world. But rather it should be responsive, transitional and flexible to make sure that, in the future, we can continue to serve students and alumni in thinking about jobs whether we know about them now or know about them tomorrow,” he said.

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