By Brooks Whitehurst
Newly furnished and smelling of fresh popcorn, the recently established career cube in the lobby of Cashion Academic Center has made itself hard to miss.
Students entering the Jones Lobby of Cashion will find that the cubicle that once sat vacant has now been occupied by business career management, a cube that welcomes students with an invitation to jump-start their careers.
“We’re trying to shift the culture on campus,” said Kristy Goldenberg, assistant director of undergraduate career management. “We want to get students to start utilizing the available resources.”
The addition of the career cube marks the beginning of a new service Hankamer School of Business offers to its students. Jeffrey Stubbs, director of undergraduate career services, said for the last eight years, business career management had only been a service offered to graduate students. With the start of the fall semester, career management opened its doors to undergraduates as well.
“We’re catering to the undergraduate community,” Stubbs said, who came on staff at Hankamer in April to help start undergraduate career management.
Every Wednesday and Thursday from 2 to 4 p.m., career management rolls out a popcorn machine and hands out servings to students passing in the Jones lobby.
“It entices them to see that we’re here,” Goldenberg said. “We’re not here just to be here. We genuinely want to impact a student’s career.”
Once the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation opens in July 2015, career management will have its own suite to help further its mission.
“Part of the design was putting career management in a prominent place on the first floor,” said Anthony Lapes, director of the Casey Computer Center.
Lapes is also chair of the core decisions team, the group responsible for making decisions about the design of the Foster Campus.
“We’re looking to tell a story, from when you come in as a freshman to graduation,” Lapes said. “As you come in the east side entrance, you see the undergraduate offices and then at the end there’s the career management suite.”
Lapes said the core decisions team hopes career management’s new suite in the Foster Campus will help current and future business students take a more proactive role in their post-grad plans.
Kenneth Buckley, assistant dean of undergraduate career management, said the business school has also begun piloting a new career management course that will be available to sophomore and junior business students this spring. Sophomore level class is a prerequisite to the junior level class and there will be two classes available to students in each classification.
The courses will cover resume building and personal branding as well as career assessment, exploration and discovery.
“If we wait on them to deal with that issue [of careers], we’ll be waiting for a while and if we were in their shoes we’d probably do the same thing,” Buckley said. “Our piece was ‘let’s go to where they are. Let’s create group of folks to show that we’re there for them, to be there everyday, to show that we’re dedicated even to the point of firing up a popcorn machine twice a week.’”