A Miami student connects with recruiters at the 2019 Spring Career Fair.
A Miami student connects with recruiters at the 2019 Spring Career Fair. Photo: University Communications and Marketing

Center for Career Exploration and Success grows with new initiatives

Did you know?

  • By the end of the 2018-2019 school year, the Center for Career Exploration & Success will have hosted more than 400 events, an increase from last year.
  • Job postings on Handshake, the center's student-employer job network, increased 78% from last year.

By Shavon Anderson, university news and communications

To be part of the student experience you have to be where the students are. That’s why Miami University’s Center for Career Exploration & Success relocated near the center of campus two years ago.

With funding from a new $100 per semester career development fee, CCES restructured and added counselors and programs in a future-focused initiative aimed at creating drastic changes in service.

Part of the push for an increase in overall efficiency includes extending more resources to faculty.

This fall, the center plans to continue its Career Collaborative program. The initiative strengthens faculty connections by making Career Grants available to faculty or departments to host related programs for students.

With $40,000 available for the upcoming semester, the grants focus on proposals that include new, real-world projects hosted in the classroom or other professional development activities with expanded emphasis toward first- and second-year undergraduates.

In its first year, the Career Collaborative supported unique experiences across multiple colleges, including:

  • The opportunity for art history students to acquire an art piece for the Miami University Art Museum.
  • A nutrition and dietetics conference at the College of Education, Health and Society, bringing in alumni to network with students and interact across a multiday event.
  • An upcoming trip to Automate Chicago, an event with more than 450 exhibitors, where students can connect with international employers. The trip is through the College of Engineering and Computing.

Proposals for the upcoming year are due by noon Monday, April 29. Decisions will be announced after May 6.

The reality of resources

“It’s not uncommon for people to say a career center only serves business or engineering students,” said Jennifer Franchak, assistant vice president for Center for Career Exploration & Success.

At Miami, the idea is far from true as staff work across all departments, pouring resources into professional development and tangible skills.

To shift the perception, Franchak believes a new employer development strategy can effectively link students in competitive occupations with industries that don't recruit.

“Nobody from Los Angeles is recruiting a future actor or actress to star in their upcoming sitcom,” Franchak said. “The way we would support students who go into fields like acting should be different than how we approach accounting.”

The plan includes improved career preparation, alumni outreach and the “nudge” campaign, which leverages the power of suggestion and challenges students to accomplish small career-related tasks along their Miami journey.