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New location in Duncan Student Center allows career services to expand

| Thursday, January 25, 2018

In addition to the numerous dining options, improved workout facilities and expanded study space in the new Duncan Student Center, the building also houses the Center for Career Development on the fifth floor.

Previously located on the first two floors of Flanner Hall, the Department for Career Services is now centrally located on campus and easily accessible for students. Vice president for student affairs Erin Hoffmann Harding cited the Career Center’s new location along with many other aspects of student life as one of the biggest advantages of the new student center.

“To have the Career Center and the Center for Career Development right upstairs rather than across campus … bringing together all of these different elements, for us, is part of the exciting piece to things that had previously really been scattered across campus,” she said in an interview Jan. 15.

Julie Gray, associate director of career operations, said the move has allowed the department to operate more effectively due to the increased amount of space available to it.

“In the past, especially during the fall semester, we would often have to kick staff out of the second floor offices because there simply wasn’t enough room,” Gray said.

With 36 interview rooms, 11 conference rooms that can hold up to 16 people and one training room that holds about 60 people, there is ample room for the next wave of recruitment in the new location, Gray said.

The Career Center also houses eight virtual interview rooms along the east wall that feature Zoom technology. Gray said employers would often come to campus with a full slate of interviews but still miss out on a qualified candidate. These new interview spaces, she said, will enable them to also network with students abroad in the same trip to Notre Dame’s campus. Hoffmann Harding said the improved technology came as a result of student feedback during the planning process of the Duncan Student Center.

“The types of interviews that students are now getting from employers — so the increased need for technology and the ability to Skype or talk remotely to employers [came from students],” she said. “And actually, during peak study times, the addition of the need for study space. So we’ve designed the fifth floor in a way that the offices can be separable from the interview center, which can be open during peak times for student study space. And that’s new, that’s different and it’s accessible because now it’s in a building that students frequent — we hope — during the day and even into the evening.”

This newly-available space, Gray said, highlights the purpose of the Center for Career Development as well as the Duncan Student Center.

“This is a student center, and we want this to be student-focused,” she said. “These next few months, we’ll be working [to] optimize this space and hopefully create a better environment for students and employers.”

Gray said the new centralized space has also allowed the department to integrate the various stages of education and career building, as the undergraduate, graduate and Mendoza graduate students are “all under student affairs.” This integrated method, she said, is largely due to an initiative the department took on several years ago to shift the emphasis on students’ approaches to career searches from major onto industry.

“We have career counselors that are liaisons to each of the different colleges,” Gray said. “It doesn’t matter what your major is, it doesn’t dictate what you do. We try to focus on a student’s passions and strengths and how we can translate those into the workforce.”

News Editor Courtney Becker contributed to this story.

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