Career Liaison Pilot Launches in Five Academic Departments

16 June 2009

Faculty and students in each department soon will have one designated member of the Career Center staff as the contact person for all things related to career planning.  Five departments piloted the program this spring, with more to follow in fall and winter.

“Having a designated Career Liaison helps our majors know the kinds of career-related tasks they can be thinking about in the two years they have until graduation,” said Economics chair Mike Hemesath. “And it ensures that they have easy access to the Career Center resources that will aid their transition into post-Carleton employment, service, or additional study.”

Department Career Liaisons tailor their activities to the needs and interests of each department: 

  • In the Religion department, faculty career coordinator Asuka Sango surveyed all majors, arranged a meeting with her department’s career liaison and students, and sent an email reminding students to think strategically about summer volunteering and to consider the early fall deadlines for fellowships such as the Fulbright
  • In the French department, majors and concentrators met over pizza in the career center and received a year by year list of suggestions for career-related activities, and a tip sheet on places to look for internships related to their academic interests, as well as interests outside of the major area
  • Other activities include: 
    • Looking at the alumni database to see what other people in their major area have done after graduation.
    • Attending an alumni panel to learn from Carls who’ve recently made the transition into employment.
    • Joining in regular departmental activities, whether it’s a faculty meeting, department picnic, a class period during a seminar or intro class, or a meeting of majors. 

The last thing our students and faculty need is more to do, so most departments are figuring out ways to incorporate discussions of post-Carleton planning in “baby steps” at many points during the students’ two years as a major.  Planning for the future then becomes an integral part of the Carleton experience, not an afterthought during the senior year once comps are completed.

For more information about the Department Career Liaison program, contact Deb Olien at

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