Often there is a disconnect between students and career services. Students complain career services aren’t doing enough to help them prepare for life beyond college. At the same time, career services point out that most students aren’t doing their part and putting in the effort needed to get the most of what’s being offered. The solution being proffered to repair the division at some schools is to rebrand career services.
Ushering in a New Mindset
At Miami University (Ohio), their rebranding began with a name change. Their career services is now called the Center for Career Exploration and Success. The school believes the new name is a better reflection of the expanded and pivotal role the center will have on a students’ entire life cycle at the university. It also highlights Miami’s continued efforts in leading and advancing the university’s career community. According to their website, the Center’s goal is to “empower undergraduate and graduate students to engage in career exploration and experiential learning to optimize their professional and personal potential through connections with employers and the Miami career community. This engagement also deepens self-knowledge, enabling students to choose meaningful career paths and excel in a diverse, global society.”
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And with the goal of progress comes the need for new leadership, which they found after a nationwide search. Jen Franchak will serve as the inaugural assistant vice president for the center. Before coming to Miami, she served as the executive director of academic, career and personal development at Xavier University, where she re-envisioned the career function. In her new position, she will use her multi-institutional experience, strategic and holistic approach to career development and data-driven decision-making to usher in a new era for Miami’s Center for Career Exploration and Success.
Location, Location, Location
Another component of the school’s rebranding is the physical location of the center, which is now inside the Armstrong Student Center on the main campus in Oxford. By moving it to this building, the hope is it will be more seamlessly integrated within the student experience, increase in-person engagement with students and faculty, and provide new opportunities for expanded branding of and partnership with employers.
Franchak was quoted as saying, “Our campus location will now be in the living room of our campus, and we plan to leverage this to enhance student success.” She also pointed out that the new location makes it easier for students to drop by in between classes and during the evenings when there are events. In addition, when employers visit the campus to recruit, they’ll have greater visibility and connectivity to the student body.
Share in the comments what steps your institution has taken to rebrand or boost its career services profile.