Photo courtesy of: CLDC
Feb 20, 2014
By Nicole Pellechia
The Career & Leadership Development Center (CLDC) has implemented several changes in the past few semesters to better help students in their quests to future careers.
The CLDC provides students and alumni opportunities to prepare for their futures and take the time to develop the skills necessary to do so by offering career coaching sessions, leadership programming, mock interviews, on-campus recruiting and a variety of career-based events.
About a year and a half ago, Ohio University's Career Services Center and Ohio University's Amanda J. Cunningham Leadership Center merged to create CLDC and to create a more comprehensive way to help students.
"The strategic goals are based on the notion that career and leadership development is a lifelong developmental process," said Imants Jaunarajs, assistant dean for CLDC. "Career and leadership development is not an 'add-on.' Career and leadership development can't be something that a senior starts thinking about right before they graduate."
Jaunarajs began working with the CLDC in August 2012 and eventually teamed up with Vice President for Student Affairs Ryan Lombardi and Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones and numerous academic colleagues to develop a stronger development program for students.
"We help facilitate the process of self-awareness so students and alumni can think through and know what they want to do and what kind of leader they are or will be," said Jaunarajs.
The CLDC has recently implemented Career Classes for first-year students. These two credit hour classes are targeted toward students in the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as undecided students. Students enrolled in these courses have the ability to spend the semester working to develop self-awareness, making career decisions and learning how to go about implementing these decisions.
"I think it's important to engage the process early and often," said Jaunarajs.
Along with the classes, the CLDC collaborated with academic colleagues to broaden the scope of Bobcat Career Link. This is a database open to all students, which posts internships and jobs from all different fields in one place. This makes posting and finding jobs easier for both students and for companies looking for employees.
Jaunarajs and other members of his office have developed a central vision for the future of CLDC. Their plans focus on four central projects and education tools, beginning with a freshman career class.
All students would also partake in four major involvement experiences during their undergraduate career.
These experiences include approximately 100 hours working at an internship, co-op or work study during each experience.
The next step would be creating an e-portfolio as a freshman. The portfolios would become a personal marketing tool for each student to present to future employers.
Finally, the CLDC hopes that in the future students will be required to complete an individual case study program with an employer. Interdisciplinary teams of students would collaborate with staff and employers, allowing students to gain experience in presenting, leadership and problem solving. This would be an excellent way to gain a future employer's attention with work experience.
The CLDC plans to continue working hard to prepare students for the work force as soon as they step foot on campus.
"I think that the CLDC is a resource that more students need to start using," said Melaina Lewis, the student social media coordinator for the CLDC. "I am hoping to better spread the word using different social media platforms. Follow us on Instagram!"
The Career Leadership Development Center is located on the fifth floor of Baker University Center. For more information, visit www.ohio.edu/careerandleadership.