Career Centers are Awesome!

Career centers provide an extraordinary service to evolving new professionals. Stationed at the cusp of campus life and the wider world, career centers bridge the chasm between the two with aplomb, while being buffeted by diverse constituencies with unique needs and perspectives.

Career Center Constituencies
Career Center Constituencies

Working with our constituencies is both a pleasure and a challenge. A student might share “I want an internship.” without ever having considered his skills, or having any idea about career fields or roles.  When asked about these issues by a counselor he responds, “I could do anything. I just want an internship.”  (If I had a nickel for every time this has happened…) An employer might call and say, “Give me who you think your best candidates are for this role within the hour.”  However, doing so would put us in conflict with EEO compliance and affirmative action principles as outlined in our Principles for Professional Practice. A parent might email to express outrage that the career center is useless because his daughter hasn’t been connected to the companies and job openings she desires.  Upon investigation, the career center discovers that the student had multiple opportunities to network with, visit and apply for jobs with companies that meet her standards, but didn’t, and yet we can’t share this information with the parent without violating his daughter’s right to confidentiality.   At our best, career center staff respond to each of these scenarios deftly. As human beings, we may fall short.

I share these examples, not to be critical of our partners our ourselves, but to illustrate the unique challenges, partnerships and parameters career centers balance on a daily basis.

The goal of this blog is to give readers an inside peek about the work that goes on in career centers and the issues that impact us: lessons learned, mistakes made and aspirations yet to be realized.  Some posts will speak directly to a particular constituency.

Dachshund photo
Treif Houdini Wildine

As a foodie and dachshund-person, a few stray topics of personal interest may creep in as well. (Ask me about canning…)

My perspective is one of an higher education, student affairs and career development professional. This blog is reflective of my opinion only, and not that of any other individual, office or institution.  (In conversation friends often smile and say, “Tell me how you really feel.”  So, hold onto your hat.)

I welcome you to join the conversation.  Please know that I expect respect for myself, commenters and readers.  Guidelines for comments include:

  • Connect with the post: be on topic.
  • Make your comment worth reading. Be thoughtful.
  • Start a conversation.
  • If you disagree, be polite about it.
  • Re-read your comment before you hit submit–think before you send.
  • Aim for correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar. (I was an English major…)

I will be the ultimate arbiter of what remains visible on this blog.

raveSo… when I said “ravings” what did you think I meant?