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New year ushers in rebuilt career services

By Josh Rutenberg     1/13/11 6:00pm

Career services will get a makeover for the new year, complete with a brand new name. The Center for Career Development, formerly the Center for Student Professional Development, will shift its focus to career development by increasing communication with potential employers and expanding information to students beyond traditional aspects of professional development.The CCD, which counsels students in post-graduate planning, officially changed its name last Monday. CCD held an open house on Wednesday to inform students about the recent changes, review resumes and disperse information about upcoming events. The event took place at the Huff House, where the CCD is currently located.

CCD Interim Director Jackie Hing said the name change occurred because the center wanted to emphasize the change from just professional development to career development.

Hing said the changes mark a return to services that address broader needs of students' career development rather than keeping a narrower focus by only developing professional skills.

"Our changing to the Center for Career Development reflects what we're all about: that it's related to a student's career development or post-graduate plans, it's not just professional development." Hing said. "It also reflected a change in philosophy, a way of getting focus back on working with students and employers."

Hing said the goals of the CSPD had moved away from working with employers in recent years, and that ultimately impacted students.

Hing cited developing stronger relationships with current employers and developing relationships "beyond the usual" with all employers as top priorities for the CCD.

The CCD will not only help students with strategies in career development, Hing said, but will also help employers with strategies in campus recruiting efforts.

CCD Communications Coordinator Beth Jablinski said the center will help employers and students benefit through new programs.

"It's the opportunity to go beyond giving out information to students and employers," Jablinski said. "Ultimately, it benefits the students."

Jablinski said the CCD will start with organizations that have a strong presence at Rice, such as many companies from the oil and gas industry, but the CCD wants to reach out to students and inform them of opportunities in all industries.

In addition to changes in philosophy, the CCD will also get a new website, Hing said. The website will feature an instructional media library, including interviews with Rice alumni from all types of career backgrounds.

Hing said all current CSPD services will continue to be offered, and the CCD will serve as an expansion of existing services.

College representatives of the CCD, known as Professional Development Advisors under the CSPD, will once again be called Career Advisors, as they were before Career Services changed its name to the CSPD in Sept. 2008. Career Advisors will be similar to PDAs, in that they will serve as the main liaison between undergraduate students and the CCD, former head-PDA Vivian Ban (Brown '11) said. Responsibilities of Career Advisors include helping students with resumes, giving interview tips and assisting in campus-wide recruiting events, such as career fairs and an annual chili cook-off.

Previously, the CSPD had conducted a series of weekly workshops, including how to write resumes, and what to say and what not to say during interviews.

"What we have started here is not just to provide the information, but really provide instruction and education," Hing said. "It's taking [workshops] to a deeper, more instructional level."

While the new CCD website is not yet online, information about the CCD and the CSPD can be found at the CSPD's website, cspd.rice.edu.

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