A year after GW committed to overhauling career services, the University-wide Career Center has modified successful programs from other school-based career centers across the University to work for the entire student body.
The GW center has expanded programs like the business school’s Strengths program, which helps students narrow their focus toward specific career paths, and the law school’s “uberdatabase” of contacts for about 3,000 companies, which now includes professions outside of law, Rob Snyder, executive director of University initiatives, said.
Snyder attributed the collaboration to the increased “unity” of GW’s career center and the 11 other school-based career centers across campus, which meet monthly for the Career Services Advisory Council.
“We’re trying to build more consistency with undergraduate experience,” Snyder said.
The StrengthsQuest workshops are open to all students, but will target student-athletes, freshmen enrolled in the Guide to Personal Success program and honors students to help students translate their passions into successful careers.
“We wanted to see how it would work with non-business students,” Snyder said. “These test populations expressed interest in working with the Career Center.”
The business school has also opened up its doors for its career management strategy course to non-business students seeking to go into the business sector after graduating. The one-credit course is open only to juniors and can be taken pass/fail.
The Career Center has also merged in-person workshops with online upgrades to become more accessible, yet still accomplish its goals for students. The six new workshops are geared toward specific areas of achievement including expectations in the workplace, self-discovery, helping students find a career path and marketing oneself to employers.
Its career success plan will provide checkpoints for each student based on grade, in an effort to ease students into the job market.
Snyder said GWork, an online job database for students and alumni, now reflects the Career Center’s new direction, with a component similar to the University’s online advising system DegreeMAP. Students can track their progress by viewing a list of which workshops they have attended and what skills they learned, he said.
“It now shows that these are your next steps, so it’s very easy for them to follow through this,” Snyder said. “But at the same time, because we know GW students are really motivated, we don’t want them to have to do the box step.”
“We’d rather say these are the areas we’d like you to hit, and these are the ways we’d like you to hit them,” Snyder added.
The Career Center will also sharpen its online capabilities. Starting mid-October, students will be able to record practice interviews and schedule a follow-up meeting for review, similar to the resume critique service. They will also be able to archive their past interviews “to track their progress,” Snyder said.
The University-wide career services will welcome a leader next month, about a year after the search began.
This article appeared in the September 13, 2012 issue of the Hatchet.