Photo: Isabella Kochakian ’22 gets a head shot taken through the Career Development Center on September 6. The Career Development Center (formerly Career Services) got a new name this year to better reflect its commitment on serving students throughout their career journeys. Photo/Declan Berkeley ’21
What’s in a name? A mission statement, if you ask the folks charged with helping Emerson students get their careers off to a good start.
That’s why this year, Career Services has changed their name to the Career Development Center to better reflect their transition from primarily “transactional” services to a more robust, sustained, and individualized approach to career preparation.
“We’re trying to create more of a structured experience wherein students can personalize the way they want to go about career development,” said Anders Croft, marketing communication specialist at the Career Development Center.”
Career Development has been heading in that direction before this year’s name change, Croft said, not least of which with the launch in recent years of Careerbuzz, a platform for career-related news, information, and advice; and Handshake, which allows students and alumni to engage with more than 180,000 potential employers and track their career growth.
“Since launching Handshake, we’re really able to see more student data [over] the four years,” he said. “This really gives us insight into students’ career development.”
Career Development will still offer those services and events that they have long been known for — resume help, interview coaching, internship fairs — either through Careerbuzz or in person. But this year, they will be offering programs that address wider goals, interests, and concerns of students and alumni.
For example, the week of October 22, there will be programming around diversity in the media, including workshops hosted by media employers and talks focused on the topic, Croft said.
Career Development has also worked with student-led professional organizations on campus to coordinate employer visits on campus and on site.
“We partnered with them on numerous occasions and they helped to connect us with amazing companies and resources in Boston,” said Jade Hebling ’19, president of the American Marketing Association at Emerson College. “Given their role in helping students with their professional and interpersonal development, the transition to the name Career Development Center makes perfect sense!”
One important initiative going forward is a program to usher students through the phases of career development, Croft said. As a student makes her way through her program at Emerson, she’ll also be progressing through various steps tailored to her career interests, and skill and experience level.
So a first-year student may just explore career options through on-campus events and workshops, while a senior is working on translating her on-the-job experience gleaned from internships into a fulfilling full-time job.
The evolution to more personalized attention, and more dynamic marketing, has paid off, Croft said. Last year, the Career Development Center saw the most individual appointments ever, at around 1,200 (up from around 1,000 the prior year), and more than 300 students registered for for-credit internships through Career Development (up from 287).
Fernando Gutierrez ‘19, a media arts production major, said Career Development has helped him in a number of tangible ways throughout his time at Emerson, starting with an internship at Engine Room Edit in Boston last fall, and including his current internship, with Mythical Entertainment in Burbank, California.
Gutierrez said he thinks college students are looking for a Career Development Center that will introduce them to career paths and internship opportunities that they wouldn’t necessarily find on their own.
“There’s this general fear that there aren’t jobs and enough internships for students, but Emerson’s [Career Development Center] shows us every day that it simply isn’t true,” Gutierrez said. “The work they do puts a lot of concerns to rest and really helps making find opportunities so much easier.”