Innovation in the Career Center

23 May 2023
Rachel Leatham
Rachel Leatham, Associate Director

Innovation drives so much of what we do at the Career Center. We are continually evolving: listening to students, assessing their needs, and developing educational programming and activities to both respond to and invite progress in their career journeys. We’d love to learn more from you all what you’d like to see and help us to continue to innovate. 

With transitions on the minds of many students, our peer leaders have delivered fantastic content this spring. Programs offered have ranged from writing a Curriculum Vitae to mastering techniques for success in interviewing. Students enjoyed hearing perspectives from recently graduated alumni at a transitions workshop earlier in May. And, typical of Carls, they are putting a clever spin on the marketing, such as the “Taco ‘Bout Workplace Expectations” workshop where we’ll serve tacos (no surprise!) while talking about how to communicate effectively in a new job. As a Center, we’re going beyond career basics to also offering life advice, such as a conversation on health insurance that was co-presented by Rachel Morrison, a social worker by training in the college’s Student Health and Counseling Office

Director RJ Holmes-Leopold is hosting a four-week career circle for job-seeking seniors in the final weeks of spring term. The series is a primer for job search elements along with hands-on practice on the skills needed for success. We have discovered that students enjoy working with their peers on the job search process, which normalizes their challenges and also provides them with support and encouragement. 

Last week’s weather was the perfect setting for our first-year extravaganza, where we invited students to get to know the Career Center staff over nachos, pie throwing, jewelry making, and coloring. Students enjoyed the opportunity to connect and laugh. Program Director Jess Castellanos was inspired to created the event to begin to build authentic connections that can support career exploration in their first year at Carleton. 

Looking ahead, we are keeping an eye on recruiting trends and the influence of technology tools, such as ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, in the job search process. We are hoping to continue to develop more individualized programming for our students based on their interests, values, identities, and affiliations. We are grounding our innovation for students by asking them powerful questions:  What future are you trying to create? What do you need from us?  

We will continue to explore ways to lean into the rich resources of the Carleton network, including parents and alumni. We would ask the same questions to you as parents: What future are you trying to create? What do you need from us?  Please share your thoughts

We look forward to hearing from many of you. We are grateful for your ideas.