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Brown relaunches CareerLAB as Center for Career Exploration

New center encourages students to ‘reflect, connect, explore’ professionally

The center will also add more than a dozen new members to staff its four main teams of programming: the professional pathways team, career counseling team, student exploration team and mentor and partner engagement team, the press release states.
The center will also add more than a dozen new members to staff its four main teams of programming: the professional pathways team, career counseling team, student exploration team and mentor and partner engagement team, the press release states.

Brown has launched the Center for Career Exploration, a re-envisioned model for the University’s career advising services, according to Wednesday’s community letter from President Christina Paxson P’19 P’MD’20. The new center will expand upon services previously offered by CareerLAB and offer new resources focused largely on alumni networking opportunities. 

The reimagined center aims to offer specialized advising and exclusive opportunities in five particular career venues: technology and tech ventures, finance and consulting, arts and media, science and engineering and careers in the common good. The center will also build upon existing pre-professional resources for students pursuing careers in law and medicine.

The center will also add more than a dozen new members to staff its four main teams of programming: professional pathways team, career counseling team, student exploration team and mentor and partner engagement team, the press release states.

According to the University’s press release, the University’s remodeling of career services is “anchored in Brown’s Open Curriculum” and intends to “build on the University’s vast network of campus advisers, alumni, parents and family members.” The relaunch follows two years of research and development conducted by the President’s Working Group on Career Services.

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Expanded programming

The Center for Career Exploration will primarily rely on support from Brown alumni, parents and family to develop professional advising relationships with students, according to Vice President for Alumni Relations Zack Langway ’09.

Langway explained that members of the Brown community will be dispatched by the new center for a “sort of volunteer stewardship,” where they can lend their time to mentor students and connect them to job postings with a Brown preference.

“One of the most precious resources anyone can give us is their time and their talent,” Langway explained. “We hope that alumni and parents and friends of Brown will be able to pick an opportunity that’s right for their expertise and their time commitment.” 

“We want people to … learn about the work they like and have the ability to talk with experts,” said Dean of the College Rashid Zia ’01. “And we’re fortunate to be part of a community with thousands of experts.”

The new career services model also seeks to recruit Brown community members who can assist in establishing relationships between the University and talent acquisition departments across various industries, he added.

In order to successfully recruit eligible volunteers, Langway shared that Alumni Relations is currently “identifying folks who we think, based upon their experience volunteering in the past, … understand the importance and what it means to actually volunteer for Brown.”

“That means we start with a community that has a little bit of volunteerism already baked into their DNA,” he said. “Then our team in Alumni Relations, in close partnership with the Center for Career Exploration, will look at ways to shape the volunteer journey of those who raised their hands.”

“It’s of value to students, it’s of value to Brown, and it’s also of professional value to the alumni and family members who are volunteering,” Langway added.

According to Director of Career Services Matt Donato, previous methods of career advising and development will be strengthened at the new center.

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“We have expanded our staff of peer career advisors who host open-hour appointments with students every day of the week, and our student exploration team will be really focused on both learning opportunities and experiential opportunities on-campus and off-campus,” he said.

The Center for Career Exploration will also be focused on student employment advising, where students can find support in applying for on-campus jobs and identifying skill-development opportunities.

Embracing intellectual curiosity

According to Donato, the Center for Career Exploration explicitly outlines its strategy in three basic principles: reflect, connect and explore. 

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Zia said the reimagined center hones in on the University’s commitment to intellectual curiosity.

“Brown students … want to make an impact in the world, and they do this in connection with others,” he said. “If you look at ‘reflect, connect, explore,’ you could really summarize it as ‘talk to people, try things and repeat.’”

“The Center for Career Exploration is how we help you as students, in community with others, make an impact,” he said.

Above all else, Donato emphasized that the goal of the new center is to not confine students within one pre-professional track, but rather to open them up to “the world of opportunities.”

“For example, in finance and consulting, there’s a very specific type of role that most students think about, and it’s usually investment banking,” he said. “In reality, you can do finance in almost any type of organization. It could be finance for the nonprofit sector, or for the government, or finance that overlaps with another professional pathway.”

“What we’re trying to do with these pathways is help students see the breadth of what these pathways mean, and also see the intersection points between pathways so they can make choices about what they want to try and explore while they’re here” at Brown, Donato said.

Donato believes that the emergence of the new center is central to the elevation of navigating professionalism “in a uniquely Brown way.”

“Other (career) centers have teams that focus solely on employer relations, or internships or career advising,” he explained. “When we thought about our team structure, we really wanted to make sure each one was aligned with a critical part of the career exploration process. And I think that makes us uniquely Brown as well.”




Sofia Barnett

Sofia Barnett is a University News editor overseeing the faculty and higher education beat. She is a junior from Texas studying history and English nonfiction and enjoys freelancing in her free time.



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