Career services changes name, functionality
The Student Professional Development Center, formerly known as Career Services, is now located in Moseley Center and incorporates new services reflective of student's post- graduation plans. The Center is now open for students.
"This change is based upon a lot of work deciding where we want our students to position themselves and where we want to position them to be during their time here," said Tom Vecchione, executive director of Career Services.
The change in the name of the center signifies its function and purpose for students, he said.
The word "development" signifies the preparation process opposed to a "come-in-and-look-at-my-resume" mentality, Vecchione said.
The name change also reveals alternative routes some students are taking instead of entering the work force immediately after graduation. Many students are thinking of going to graduate school or entering the Peace Corps, Vecchione said.
"Ideally, what we would like to think is that everybody leaves here with a plan of some kind, whether they have a job or are traveling," said Tom Brinkley, executive director of corporate and employer relations. "Not everybody is going to go work on June 1 and be happy for the rest of their life. If they have a plan of what they want to do, we can discuss that and prepare them for that."
Brinkley's job is housed in the Office of Corporate Employer Relations, the new branch of the Student Professional Development Center. He is the newest staff member to the center.
This branch of the center may play a significant role in students' search for jobs under the current economic situation, bringing in more employers and opportunities for internships and full-time positions, he said.
"Even though our internship ratio is pretty high here, we would like to see it even higher, and we would like to increase the quality of those internships so that (students) are better matched up with something (they) have a vocational interest in," Brinkley said. "We want it to be a meaningful internship."
Not only will there be a focus on more employment opportunities for students, but also on developing the skills that students will need to thrive in these jobs.
"It's not just about the first job, but about life skills — people will change careers, but what we can do here is help them to develop their own repertoire of skills," he said.
The Revson Family Gift, a $100,000 gift, is being used toward transitional courses designed to build financial literacy and understanding in students.
"This will help bring in speakers who can target and address some of the practical concerns that many students leave here without having addressed," Vecchione said.
Several courses will be available throughout the academic year and focus on a series of topics: law, insurance, personal finance, investments, civics and politics, real estate, health and medicine and negotiations. Courses target students in particular majors, according to Rhonda Kosusko associate director of the Student Professional Development Center.
"We plan to continue to expand this aspect of the program," she said.
The transitions strategy ran a single course in 2008, and has now expanded to 30 courses a year, Vecchione said.
Other changes within the center include development of new positions such as Arli Eicher, recruiting event Coordinator and Kim Giles, resources and communications specialist.