CareerLAB is a resource widely under-utilized by Brown students, many of whom either write off the center as unnecessary or are unaware of the services it provides. The acronym LAB stands for “Life After Brown,” and the center is devoted to facilitating various opportunities outside of the University, both during and after one’s college experience. A valuable resource, CareerLAB helps students find and transition to internships and jobs, which can often be problematic for students following a traditional liberal arts education.
Brown students, who tend to be self-sufficient and hardworking, may hold reservations about seeking out advice. Nonetheless, CareerLAB provides a wide variety of services. Matt Donato, the incoming CareerLAB director, plans to prioritize making the center more accessible to students. Especially at a school like Brown — one that is devoid of core graduation requirements — linking the interdisciplinary education of students with liberal arts degrees to future careers is of the utmost importance. A heightened focus on improving the visibility and availability of CareerLAB should be applauded.
Along with Donato, President Christina Paxson P’19 has also pledged to assist students with the generally intimidating process of acquiring internships and jobs. Last November, the University launched BrownConnect, an internship finding and alumni networking site that is part of Paxson’s goal in her strategic plan to provide every undergraduate receiving financial aid with at least one funded internship or research opportunity.
Other resources, such as the Job and Internship Board and BRUnet, exist as online search engines geared towards helping students connect with alums and research jobs. Additionally, an in-person meeting with a staff member at CareerLAB can serve as a quick and painless way of editing a resume or cover letter or practicing for an interview.
The center hosts university-wide career fairs several times a year that bring in as many as 100 employers, as well as smaller events such as the recent January Career Laboratory, which allowed students to attend panel discussions in different fields of interest. This past session invited alums working in media and communications, public health, business, public policy, environmental sustainability, entertainment, startups and science. In utilizing CareerLAB’s programs, students are able to interact with potential future employers, graduate admissions officers and former Brown students to learn more about different opportunities outside of the University.
Students should use CareerLAB to their advantage. While time spent at Brown is precious, planning the steps to one’s future is critical. CareerLAB’s services — both free and easy to use — should not be underestimated or ignored. The unique resources are available, and only a small amount of self-motivation is required in order to take advantage of them.
Editorials are written by The Herald’s editorial page board: its editors, Alexander Kaplan ’15 and James Rattner ’15, and its members, Zoila Bergeron ’17, Natasha Bluth ’15, Manuel Contreras ’16, Baxter DiFabrizio ’15, Manuel Monti-Nussbaum ’15 and Katherine Pollock ’16. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.