Over the summer, the Career Planning Center (CPC) found itself in a new space with new leadership. Since beginning her position in July, the new Director of Career Planning Kristin Brennan has set new targets and reestablished old goals in an effort to make the CPC accessible to more students, alumni and parents.
Many of the CPC’s updated goals are meant to build on existing progress, such as reinforcing and growing the alumni and parent networks. One step toward achieving this goal has been through improved technology in the renovated conference rooms where parents and alumni will be able to talk to students through video calls.
Along with the incorporation of new technology in physical spaces, the CPC plans on developing its platform through an active social media presence. One goal is to incorporate alumni by having them do “Instagram takeovers” which will expose students to what a typical day in different workplace environments may look like.
Last year, in an effort to dispel common myths, the CPC launched an initiative called “Just the Facts.” An article published by the Orient last year named some causes of these misconceptions about the CPC, including the underutilization of the CPC’s resources and a general lack of knowledge about its workings. As a part of the ongoing campaign, the CPC will continue its effort to be accessible to all students regardless of major, age or interest. Plans include partnering with other groups on campus such as the Sexuality, Women and Gender Center (SWAG), the Multicultural Center and academic departments.
Additionally, the CPC will focus more on students who may be undecided about their future goals and those who may have unconventional aspirations. One way Brennan hopes to accomplish this is through having set times to personally talk to students about hobbies and interests they have and to explore ways they could turn these interests into a career.
“I love to meet people who are in that space of not [being] sure where they want to go yet,” said Brennan. “We have some tools for people who are in that space. We want to meet exploring students—people who don’t know what they want to do quite yet.”
The principles of openness, collaboration and progress were purposely integrated into the design and functionality of the renovated space. The CPC is now comprised of larger, more open spaces, including modular furniture meant to encourage collaboration.
At the same time, the CPC believes it is important to preserve individual offices where students can meet with advisors. Thus, in addition to the open spaces, there are many smaller rooms which allow students to hold interviews and conference calls.
Along with her extensive list of experiences and accolades, Brennan’s philosophy, particularly towards the liberal arts, resonated with the hiring committee of faculty and students.
“One of the things we got excited about was [that] getting a liberal arts education in an area you are passionate about can lead to a career in anything,” said Tim Foster, dean of student affairs. “You don’t need to major in this in order to do that. She can demonstrate this.”