Empowering students to manage their careers
Meet Desai, B.S. ’14
Enhancing student success is at the heart of UB’s mission: It’s a core institutional value and a major focus of the University’s three-year strategic plan. It’s also the driving force behind the student- and alumni-focused services provided by UB’s Career and Professional Development Center.
“Our coaching model is uniquely UB: transformational, not transactional,” says Lakeisha Mathews, the center’s director. “Instead of simply sharing resources, our goal is to empower students to be proactive and invest in themselves.”
To help students successfully manage their careers, the center’s counselors—or “career coaches”—use the Career Cycle, a professional development methodology tailor-made for UB’s student population. Based on their professional experiences, students may enter the cycle at any point and access resources “to discover their direction, learn about the fields they are interested in, come up with their own professional brand and learn how to communicate it, and practice networking and other ways to promote themselves,” Mathews explains.
In addition to facilitating individual coaching sessions (nearly 600 of them during the past spring semester), the center:
- provides assessments to help students become aware of their strengths
- sponsors employer fairs and on-campus interviews
- shares tips for writing resumes and LinkedIn profiles
- schedules free head shots.
Additionally, virtual services give students who are off campus—or who need to juggle career, family and personal responsibilities—the ability to practice mock interviews online and be coached by career counselors via Skype or phone. The center also connects students to a supportive, engaged network of UB faculty, staff and alumni, and its career-development services remain available to UB students long after graduation.
“We provide opportunities for mentoring, networking and other ways in which our students can connect and collaborate with the entire UB community,” Mathews says. “It’s Knowledge That Works in action: an integrated approach that prepares our students to become fulfilled and productive members of Maryland’s 21st-century workforce.”