Introducing a new career services delivery model

The Cawley Career Education Center, under the leadership of Susan Campbell, has been working closely with the Provost’s Office, Cawley staff, leadership from all undergraduate schools and other campus career centers, and other stakeholders to develop a new service delivery model for undergraduate students.

The model was created to centralize undergraduate core services, further integrate elements of purpose and career into the undergraduate curricular and co-curricular experience, and enhance employer relations (including alumni as employers) with a commitment to new employer development in students’ prioritized industries and geographic locations.   It will position Cawley as a best-in-class career center using a “whole person” approach that aligns with Georgetown’s Jesuit values.

The essential building blocks of the new model are:

  • Consistent and expanded core services with equitable student access, uniformity in service delivery and reduced redundancies on campus
  • Strategic integration with academic units, co-curricular endeavors, and identity or experience-based communities of students
  • Coordinated employer/alumni outreach and development

Tenets of best-in-class career services, identified by career development thought leaders, were key considerations in reimagining the career services delivery model for Georgetown undergraduates. The following “10 C’s” were identified as being most critical:

  • Centralize Core Services
  • Create Communities
  • Coordinate Outreach
  • Collaborate on Curriculum
  • Convene and Connect Constituents

The model conceptualizes Cawley as a “blue house” with foundational elements, core services inside, and open pathways to curricular and co-curricular spaces to increase awareness of resources within and outside Cawley as well as to leverage the entire Georgetown ecosystem as it relates to purpose and career.  

Foundation

The foundation of the model - Formation, Experiential, and Employment - reflects Georgetown’s Jesuit values.

  • Formation - as one participates in vocational discernment with every career decision
  • Experiential - as career development learning is embedded into the curricular and   co-curricular experience
  • Employment - as career-related opportunities are enhanced through strengthened alumni and employer relations

Centralized Core Services

Centralized core services are delineated into five categories: (1) career exploration, (2) career programs, (3) systems and operations, (4) industry advising/coaching and (5) employer and alumni relations. These services are staffed by Center professionals and many can be delivered in Cawley, in an individual school, or elsewhere on campus.

  • Career Exploration - Career counselors work with students who are undecided about their career goals or exploring broadly.  Individual and group appointments, seminars that help students craft a career narrative and strategy, and a new credit-bearing course are examples of offerings that promote self-appraisal, occupational information, goal selection, planning, and problem-solving.  
  • Industry Advising/Coaching - Industry advisors work with students who are interested in exploring a specific industry area.  In addition to 1:1 appointments, industry advisors host industry hours, alumni-in-residence programs, and employer events to connect students directly with experts a variety of fields.  Advisors and contracted coaches provide deep knowledge of employers, job or internship opportunities and recruiting practices for the following industries:
    • Creative Fields
    • Finance & Consulting
    • General Business
    • Government, NonProfit & Education
    • Health, Science & Technology
    • Pre-Law
  • Career Programs - To date, Cawley’s primary career programs have been two annual large-scale career fairs. In 2018/2019, Cawley is expanding industry-focused niche fairs, working to establish sustainable financial support for the Social Impact Internship Program and launching a Peer Career Advisor (PCA) program.  These programs will promote equitable access by supporting both broad and distinct student populations. See our new initiatives page for more information. Career programs exist across the other categories but are so central to the center’s success that they are listed separately in the model as well.
  • Systems and Operations - Handshake, Cawley’s job/internship platform, and Hoya Gateway, Georgetown’s student and alumni connections platform, are invaluable tools for students to explore career and experiential opportunities and connect with Georgetown alumni.  Handshake is transforming college recruiting for universities across the nation and has significantly increased Cawley’s breadth of jobs and internship opportunities in terms of industry and geography. Hoya Gateway matches students and alumni for informational interviews using personal, career, and academic interests as variables.  
  • Employer & Alumni Relations - The employer relations team supports all on-campus employer engagement  (interviews; informational sessions; workshops; office hours) and employer development by industry and geography.  The Employer Sponsorship Program is a fee-based program that promotes further employer/career services collaboration and supports Cawley initiatives.  Cawley is working closely with Advancement, Hoya Gateway, and the Board of Regents career committee to streamline employer relations with alumni.

Decentralized Services

Cawley’s reporting structure recently shifted from Student Affairs to Academic Affairs, reporting to the Vice Provost for Education.  This move sets the stage for closer collaboration between Cawley and academic programs as well as a variety of co-curricular programs. Cawley is working with undergraduate programs across campus to facilitate connections within a student’s home school while still centralizing programming and other initiatives to be available to the widest possible student audience.  

It is Cawley’s vision to support decentralized career services and conduct additional school-based outreach through an established embedded liaison (a career services professional) within each school.  This will:

  • Broaden the reach and awareness of career services at Georgetown
  • Facilitate school-specific career programming and academic integration
  • Engage employers and alums for career initiatives
  • Coordinate connections not only within a school but across schools.

In Spring 2018, Cawley piloted the idea of an embedded liaison by working closely with the MSB’s Director of the Office of Professional Development and SFS’s Assistant Director for Undergraduate Professional Development.  Increased connections were made with deans, faculty, alumni and employers and school-based programming was expanded. Cawley hopes to identify resources to expand this pilot to all undergraduate schools during the 2018/2019 academic year.

A proposed Peer Career Advisor (PCA) program also connects students within and across schools.  In partnership with Alumni Career Services, Cawley is piloting a program in Fall 2018, inviting undergraduate seniors who have completed internships or have obtained full-time positions in a variety of industries to share their experiences with underclassmen.  The program will use Hoya Gateway as a platform for connecting and scheduling so that students can have equitable access to career conversations with both alumni and students.

Conclusion

Success of this career services delivery model depends on an entire university network.  It will be critical to identify, equip, and work alongside the ecosystem of career influencers and career communities on and off the Hilltop -- faculty, administrators, alumni, and others who walk intentionally with students as they make career decisions, as well as campus organizations that have gathered communities of students, faculty and others interested in a particular field.  If this ecosystem can be mapped and leveraged, Georgetown students will benefit tremendously from far-reaching, relevant, and supportive connections provided at scale.

Transforming undergraduate career services at Georgetown is underway, with momentum and considerable progress since Fall 2017.  To prepare students for a professional life that may stretch 50+ years, Cawley and its partners will continue to focus on initiatives and technology that will increase equity and access for all students, scale and integrate the work of our staff, and highlight the variety of career fields for which students are prepared regardless of major.  Please let us know your thoughts, questions, or ideas here.

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