Career Services adds office hours on the Vern

Media Credit: Olivia Anderson | Hatchet Photographer

Officials are adding career services office hours on the Mount Vernon Campus during weekday afternoons to encourage students to stop by and ask questions early in their college careers.

Updated: Oct. 27, 2015 at 12:57 p.m.

Instead of catching the Vern Express after class on the Mount Vernon Campus, GW hopes freshmen will spend Monday afternoons with a career coach.

Starting Oct. 26, the Center for Career Services will hold office hours in the Academic Building on the Mount Vernon Campus once a week. Staff said the new hours, which will be held 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, were scheduled around classes students are required to take on the campus during freshmen year. The new hours are part of an effort to encourage first-year students to polish their resumes and outline a job trajectory earlier in their college careers.

Associate Director for Career Exploration and Assessment Lenore Webb said student focus group input and conversations helped officials settle on afternoon office hours when many University Writing classes, which freshmen are required to take, end.

“One of our goals has been to have a regular presence at MVC, but we wanted to see where we could have the biggest impact,” Webb said. “We realized that it made sense developmentally to reach students closer to their living space and their classes.”

Chrissy Batterson James, a career exploration coach, said the career services office could potentially expand the campus’ office hours depending on student traffic. She said the center also hopes to offer resume critiques in West Hall, where about 300 students live, or in other residence halls on the campus.

There are 77 UW classes on the Vern this semester, made up of more than 1,100 students, as well other classes in the political science and interior design departments.

“Reaching freshmen early is important to us. We want to ensure that our students are getting the resources they need for career and major preparation to support their Career Success Plan,” Batterson James said in an email.

Expanding career development services is part of the University’s 20-year-long strategic plan, which was approved in 2012, and includes increasing a $2 million budget increase for career services spread over three years.

The Center for Career Services has gone through a more than three-year overhaul in line with the strategic plan, adding things like field-specific coaches to the office. Donors have given about $7 million in major donations, which have gone toward grants for unpaid internships and a digital mock interview center that is set to open this year.

Last year, Career Services sent postcards to every incoming freshman’s home before classes began and increased outreach efforts in first-year residence halls.

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that career services’ budget will grow $2 million each year. It received a $2 million budget increase that is spread over three years: 2012 to 2015. We regret this error.

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