While career services have long been part of college campuses, getting students to grace their threshold has been a little trickier. And it is not that students don’t care about their academic career or what happens after they graduate. Rather, it’s a misunderstanding about what is available and how it can play an important role in each student’s life. As such, schools like Miami University (Ohio) and Stanford University have rebranded their career services department in order to better offer students a better overall, and more rewarding experience. Today, we’ll look at how the University of Tennessee rebranded their career services.
Making it Personal
Citing a transformational shift in the field of career services, Tennessee joined many schools in dropping ‘services’ from their offices’ title. The reasoning behind this decision is because they felt the word indicated the space was simply one where transactions took place. In other words, it was too impersonal. By changing the name to the Center for Career Development, they were able to communicate to the students that the center exists to help them grow professionally during their time at the school.
In addition to the name change, the offices were moved to the Alan and Wendy Wilson Career Development Suite in the new Student Union. By being located in a place that’s a hub of student activity (the Union also houses dining options and retail spaces), they are able to raise their visibility and increase their engagement with the students. Not to mention the new space with its private lounge and 16 interview rooms is also more conducive to hosting employers from across the country to encourage their recruitment of Tennessee students. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
Walk Right In
The name change wasn’t the only modification to the career services department. In an effort to be more accessible to students, the center introduced walk-in hours and services. The goal of the walk-in model was to increase student access support through extended hours in the center and in two other campus locations. They also strived to boost the breadth of services to better meet students’ career development needs. Walk-ins are fifteen-minute mini-sessions on topics such as Major and Career Exploration, Resumes/Cover Letters/LinkedIn, Interviewing, Job and Internship Search, and Graduate School. Students simply walk-in, pick one of the topics, and sign-in to meet with an advisor. If requested, proof of completion cards are available.
No matter how your school chooses to rebrand its career services, the bottom line is that students want to be the focus. They want to know they have the school’s attention and that the school has their backs. After all, they are an extension of the school's brand. It only makes sense to prepare them so that they can represent you in a positive way.