Administration enhancing career services with new Internship Coordinator position

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Glancing through the summer  internships binder in the Career  Center students can find a few 2014  opportunities, but most are outdated.  Some as far back as 2004. Among the  pamphlets and papers, binders and  baskets labeled graduate schools, jobs  and résumés, something is missing, a  cohesive mission and a director.

The role of director has sat vacant  since Cathy Cuthbertson left this past  January. While sad to see her go, New  College is looking at her department as  an opportunity to revitalize the Career  Center and make it a more helpful and  accessible resource for students.

By the end of the semester, the  administration will hire two new  staff members, a director of career  development services and an internship  director. The latter is a newly created  positon.

“When I go out into town or when  other [faculty and administration] go  out, people say ‘Oh, we’d love to have  a New College student do this or that,  send them our way, we’ll pay them,’ and  there is no central place [to send them].”  President Donal O’Shea said. “Faculty  we’re sort of feeling like [internships]  were dropping into a black hole. They  were sometimes listed, sometimes  not.”

“In the [master] plan we’ve  been trying to make things so that  students would have a better way of  hooking what they are learning with  work and experiences outside,” O’Shea  continued. “Lots of students hook up  with a professor and have an internship  somewhere, but it’s kind of ad hoc, you  sort of need a lot of agency.”

The internship coordinator will  be responsible for keeping track of  internship opportunities as well as  reaching out to and educating students,  communicating with faculty and going  out into the community to connect  students with local businesses.

“I love the way our students just  seem to do things themselves, but it  shouldn’t be so hard,” O’Shea said.  “I don’t think that [the internship  coordinator] will be completely and  solely responsible for internships but  they will have all the knowledge. And  they can be a resource for students,”  Dean of Students Tracy Murry said.

Along with the internship  coordinator position the administration  is looking to make the Career Center a  more prominent and helpful presence  on campus.

“It ought to be the norm that  you come in and you go to the Career  Center at least a couple of times in your  first year to help and the Career Center  is kind of on your side and it’s not  just information you can find on the  internet,” O’Shea said. “Ideally you’d  come in, you’d meet with them a couple  of times, you’d also have help with  resume presentation skills, some help  with a pitch, elevator speeches type  thing, interviewing techniques. The  Career Center should be doing that.”

“We want to focus on the Career  Center as being a more proactive place  that engages students,” Murry said.  “The other piece that I think is also  important is using more social media  and electronic media to interact with  students and outside resources.”

Student Affairs will supervise the  director of career services position and  the internship coordinator will report  initially to the dean of studies and the  vice president of academic affairs.

Funding for the positions was  generously donated by members of the  New College Board of Trustees and New  College alumnae.  As to how soon these positions  will be filled, O’Shea said, “I would have  liked to do it yesterday.”  The hiring committees will begin  reviewing applications this week.

“I’ve just kind of glanced through the pool of candidates that have applied thus far and it’s a really impressive list,” Murry said. “We weren’t sure how long it would take and we hoped it would be sooner than later, but we have close to 30 applicants.” Ideally, the new Career Center director and internship coordinator will arrive by the end of this semester or by Fall 2014 at the latest.

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