$20 million set aside for career services

The University earmarked $20 million for a massive expansion of career resources over the next decade in the draft of its strategic plan.

The plan, released last week, would add a professional internship office, hand out scholarships to students with unpaid internships and create an employer-in-residence program.

The commitment to career services is part an effort to give students more work experience and help finding jobs after graduation. GW launched an overhaul of its career services last spring – plans that have been cemented by the $2 million in annual funding laid out in the plan.

Senior Associate Provost and Dean of Students Peter Konwerski said the plan will allow students to “put their class knowledge into action” in jobs, internships, study abroad, service and research off-campus. It would also expand networking events and programs that target student-athletes, international students, veterans and disabled students to personalize student support.

“The next few years will be an exciting time at GW as we work to build a career engagement and success model that complements the level of activity our students are already engaged with,” Konwerski said.

Other program ideas include preparation courses, career planning websites like Focus2, industry-based speakers and expanded technology for interview preparation.

Most components of the career expansion, like the unpaid internship grants, would be funded by donations. But the plan also leaves leeway for the program to collect funding from a $2 to $7 million pool that will fund service-learning courses and the addition of student research opportunities.

The Board of Trustees approved an expansion of career services last spring that brought dozens of new hires. The additional staffing and resources, including the creation of an assistant provost for career services position, were partially funded by a 3.7 percent tuition hike.

Last spring, GW began focusing career development toward six industry-specific fields, ranging from the arts and media to science, government, law, education and economics. The career center also reached out to parents and alumni to participate in career fairs and mentorship programs.

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