By Elijah McGuire-Berk
Elm Staff Writer
Recently the Career Center at Washington College was recognized on a national level by the website marketplace.org. The article, written by Amy Scott, was about the new Career Center currently under construction which is set to open in January.
The staff members in the Career Center are excited about the rcognition. Nina Burton, the office manager, said, “I think it’s great publicity both internally and externally…it will shed even more light on the great programming and services of the career center.”
Career Counselor Vicky Sawyer had a lot of things to say about the article and the recognition that resulted from it. “I think it’s wonderful. It’s a huge benefit for us. For years, and I’ve been here 27 years, we’ve been in out of the way places,” she said. “We’ve always had a Career Center but now the administration is saying it’s becoming a focal point in promoting a strong liberal arts background.”
While Sawyer was excited about the Career Center receiving more attention, the new building itself was also a focal point of her commentary. She was quite content with the fact that the new building would have new technology in it. She was confident in her assertion that, “technology is a wonderful thing, it serves a beneficial purpose which can bring us together.” She was relieved that with the proper use of technology, the stressful task of students and/or interviewers having to drive long distances to get to an interview would no longer have to be a requirement.
What was most important to her was the transition. It’s her job to help with the tedious and tricky transition from college to the working world. Sawyer said, “We want you to learn how to manage your career life early in your college experience.”
She wanted to inform as many people as possible about career awareness. She said, “The more we talk about it, the more intentional it becomes,” and she made it clear that the more intentional career awareness is, the easier it will be to transition.
The Director of the Center for Career Development Jim Allison also had a few things to say about the recognition. He was quick to point out that there were, “lots of people involved” in the act of getting the center nationally recognized. He said, “We’ve been nationally recognized before,” but he was ready to note that career centers all over the place are starting to get nationally recognized.
He said, “We’re being resourced and staffed so that we can meet student, parent, alumni, and external constituent demands.” The external constituents Allison is referring to are employers and recruiters whose job it is to get students into job training or employment. Overall, he was glad. “I’m happy to be recognized. Happy is the best word I can say,” he said.
For Allison however, career center recognition is not a competition between different colleges. “Getting this recognition, it doesn’t just recognize this career center and me and all my proposals and hard work and my staff’s hard work, it recognizes the entire college,” he said.