University to tighten links to employers

The first employees to focus exclusively on building up GW’s ties with companies and government agencies began working this week to help students get jobs.

The Career Center’s three new hires will “go after” employers who do not already post openings through GW by calling up human resources departments and setting up meetings with parents and alumni, Assistant Provost Rachel Brown said, signaling the next phase of a career services overhaul to help students land jobs in a tough market.

Brown said she hopes to see a “richer” employer presence on campus, including the number of job postings on GWork, by August. She will also plan more career fairs to bring more companies onto campus.

“Every school, college, every GW student will benefit from that. That’s going to take a little while. That’s not going to happen overnight,” Brown said.

Each consultant will zero in on either the public, private or government sector as part of a semester-long pilot, Brown said. GW will also add another full-time consultant next year, who Brown said could network with nonprofits.

In past years, the career center staff networked mainly with employers who were already on GWork.

“GW is being very proactive and it’s very forward thinking, which is why we need a pilot and then to access,” Brown said.

Brown, who was hired away from Temple University earlier this year, said she came to GW because few other schools were taking career services as seriously. She boasts two decades of experience, including time at Georgetown University and the University of Pennsylvania.

The University will also add staffers devoted to career assessments to help students identify the academic and personal interests that could lead to job paths.

Her first task will be to evaluate the success of GW’s current programs, such as StrengthsQuest and Focus 2, which ask questions about academic and personal interests to help gauge potential career options. Students fill out questionnaires and then sit with advisers, who review results and make recommendations on future plans.

The Career Center will hire two more full-time advisers for career assessment programs this year, Brown said, part of a $20 million investment in career services over the next decade. That sum will pay for expanded programming and the dozens of new staffers entering the center since this fall.

The plans for tighter employer relations and stronger career assessments fall under the first prong of GW’s career services plan, which looks to specialize student support in each major career field. The center is also working to remove walls between the University’s 11 school-based career centers to encourage interdisciplinary studies and career paths.

Managing Director of the Career Center Anne Scammon said expanded assessments, as well as monthly workshops, will enhance students’ personal development.

“We are essentially teaching students how to properly represent themselves well, and I think GW students will really appreciate that,” Scammon said.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.