Career Development Center enhancement benefits students



It seems as if every week this semester a new organization or agency hosts an informational session on campus. Last week the California Institute of Advanced Management made their pitch to students. In March, the Pathways Internship program gave a presentation on how to get a job with the federal government. And in early February, students packed into a Fowler lecture hall, eager to hear about job opportunities with the Central Intelligence Agency. With its black and orange logo stamped onto event fliers, the Occidental Career Development Center (CDC) has been one of the most active and engaging student services on campus this year, but not without room for improvement.

The CDC’s greatest strengths, as of this year, lie in its ability to seek out a wide range of student internships and graduate opportunities and market them in a persuasive fashion. Its most prominent successes, InternLA and InternPDX, exemplify the CDC’s efforts to directly assist students in finding summer jobs that compliment their studies and ideal career trajectories. In addition, they’ve brought representatives from public, private and non-profit organizations, always encouraging students to be thinking about potential careers. Their “Get the Scoop” event on the Branca Patio last month, Thursday drop-in hours and multiple LinkedIn workshops continue to be useful, informative sessions for students.

Nonetheless the CDC’s increased presence this year shouldn’t overshadow its shortcomings.

First, the CDC must increase its national outreach in order to better directly assist students who wish to obtain internships outside the Greater Los Angeles Area. Many of its valuable connections are close to home; but establishing links to other major cities like Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C. would reap benefits for industrious and enthusiastic students. One solution may be to catalog a list of alumni in these cities and the organizations they work for, thus providing students with direct contact to potential employers. Developing better relationships with the IPO office could also encourage international internships.

Secondly, the CDC (or Occidental’s alumni network) could establish partnerships with non-profits or businesses across the country wherein one or two summer positions are reserved exclusively for Occidental students. Doing so would draw a larger pool of applicants, boost the quality of interns who fill those positions and increase Occidental students’ stock value for those (and other) employers.

Additionally, the CDC must improve its TIGERLink resource. The CDC constantly encourages students to use the employment hub as a resource for internship opportunities, but typically students either choose to alternatively submit their applications or don’t know how to properly use TIGERLink. Hosting monthly TIGERLink workshops and listing more opportunities outside of Los Angeles, for instance, could help clear up the gray area surrounding the CDC’s most touted online resource.

Though it has made great strides in effectively utilizing its Facebook page and sponsoring more informational sessions than years past, the CDC still has room for improvement. Students, however, can and should continue to look to the CDC for help next year and beyond.

This editorial represents the collective opinion of the Occidental Weekly Editorial Board. Each week, the editorial board will publish its viewpoint on a matter relevant to the Occidental Community.

This article has been archived, for more requests please contact us via the support system.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here