University News

U. seeks new CareerLAB director

CareerLAB will continue to implement changes and develop BrownConnect during search process

Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, September 4, 2014

A committee is currently reviewing applications from across the country for the role of director of the CareerLAB, in the wake of former CareerLAB Director Andrew Simmons’ assumption of the role of associate dean for graduate student career advising.

Jim Amspacher, career adviser for Careers in the Common Good, is currently serving as CareerLAB’s interim director as a search committee begins the process of finding a new director, said Dean of the College Maud Mandel. Mandel declined to disclose any information about the search committee’s makeup.

A specific timeline for the search has not been established, but students can expect a new director to be hired this academic year, Mandel said. The committee will seek to prioritize finding the highest-quality candidate over concluding the search faster, she added.

The committee is looking for a candidate who will bring “energy” and “direction” to CareerLAB’s existing programs and who has a personal vision to improve CareerLAB, Mandel said.

With a number of new programs this year, CareerLAB will not wait for its new director to begin implementing changes, Mandel said.

During Amspacher’s time as interim director, CareerLAB is set to unveil a host of changes based on student feedback, he said. These changes include expanding walk-in hours for all students and adding a second day to career fairs. Coordinators also plan on creating a graduate careers conference, introducing more programming for underclassmen, postponing the networking and professional development session JanLAB so it takes place during the academic year instead of winter break and redesigning CareerLAB’s website, he added.

Additionally, CareerLAB is planning a November launch of BrownConnect, an initiative meant to “expand student access to high-quality research opportunities and internships through the alumni and parent community,” said Aixa Kidd, director of BrownConnect. These efforts aim to support the vision President Christina Paxson laid out in her strategic plan, Kidd said.

CareerLAB administrators are currently letting students test a beta version of BrownConnect and taking their feedback into account for possible improvements, she said.

BrownConnect will “make a big splash,” Kidd said, adding that there will be “more to come” as the project builds through the next two months. Kidd declined to comment further on BrownConnect’s launch, saying that more information will be released during the program’s November rollout.

While CareerLAB has faced criticism from students in the past for focusing too heavily on technology, finance and consulting, BrownConnect will expand career opportunities  in fields for all students, Amspacher said. “This perception of career centers is not unique to Brown, … and CareerLAB has intensive programming in all fields.”

The new director will come to CareerLAB at a “big growth point,” Amspacher said.


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