Monday, November 30, 2009

A note on career services, higher education, and creating engagement

Hello Peirce College! Uva Coles here.

Though I officially joined the Peirce College community two weeks ago as the new Dean of Career Management Services, I wanted to take this chance to introduce myself and share with you what my new role is with the college, as well as what I'll be discussing on Peirce Connections.

Let me start with the questions I have been getting from a lot of students over the past week: "So Uva, what will you be doing?"



To put it simply, I'll be developing a new Career Management Services department with the goal of establishing new and better connections with the business community. The good news is Peirce has already built a fantastic foundation with the school's current Career Services department, and the existing team is full of talented and experienced people.

Building on that, we'll be working hard to establish new and better connections, and increasing Peirce College's profile with business and community leaders, prospective and existing students, and alumni. The goal is simple: stronger connections + career preparation for students = faster and better job placement for you.

We're looking to connect the right students with the right talents to job opportunities in the corporate world. We'll work even harder to examine the career landscape and make sure we're bringing in programs that are really going to help students and alumni stand out when it's time to take the next step.

We'll also assist those of you who are already in your jobs or careers and are looking to strengthen skills or navigate toward a career change. In all cases, we'll aim to provide you with the opportunities that make the most sense!

I've worked for over 15 years to join people in the private and public sectors with everyday people for their mutual benefit. For me, it's always been about matching a need with a solution.

At the core, I have a passion for helping others identify and pursue career opportunities. It's something I carry with me wherever I go, whether in a formal or informal role. As students, you'll often hear me talk of engagement -- because what I really enjoyed most in my previous jobs was engaging the communities in which we operated, wither that was businesses, students, or the larger community.

Before coming to Peirce, I worked for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Southeastern PA. My work there meant connecting quality individuals with youths in need of mentoring , and finding college, universities, and corporate partners that understood the importance of those connections.

And before that, my work with INROADS/Mid-Atlantic centered on empowering people with the professional skills and confidence to not only find the right job -- but really the right career.

One of the greatest challenges in this area has always been communication with the student population, so I am thrilled to join Peirce Connections as a blogger and share my insight here. As we move forward with new initiatives and programs that have direct benefits for you as students and alumni, please don't hesitate to share your suggestions, feedback, or ideas with me!

And thanks for the warm welcome!