Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
November 30, 2021

The Career Center recently announced the appointment of Anne Garner as the new director, to start in May. Staff changes inevitably lead to differences in operation, the Editorial Board hopes that with this new leadership comes some much-needed improvements to the Career Center.

The Career Center lacks a strong alumni network — or if it has one, it is not utilizing it to the best of its ability. Such a network is critical in students’ searches for internships and full-time employment following graduation, and the Center should work with the Alumni Association to connect students of all years to institutions with Hopkins grads. Additionally, the Career Center lacks data on Hopkins’ students post-grad plans. It would be extremely beneficial for current students to have numbers on students who have gone into certain fields, to certain employers, and who have explored alternatives to typical employment. Pre-med students, for example, receive this sort of data from the Pre-Professional Advising Office regarding gap years, and all students would similarly benefit. Although the collection of this data would necessitate some effort, it would not be overwhelming; students graduating from Hopkins could simply fill out a survey before leaving campus asking them about their next plans.

Another issue with the Career Center is its emphasis on juniors and seniors looking for employment. The Career Center should have materials for students at all points in their time at the University; with the job market becoming increasingly competitive, students seek internships and opportunities starting at a younger age. This tailored information and checklists for each year would not only be helpful for younger students seeking employment but also allow them to follow some sort of path toward graduation. This guided structure, similar to that which currently exists in academic advising, would better prepare students for their inevitable search for full-time jobs after graduating by familiarizing themselves with the Career Center and its resources as well as illustrating a rough plan for students’ career path.

In addition to this year-specific information, the Career Center should serve more of the role of a career counselor or coach for underclassmen. Students arriving at the University are often lost and overwhelmed by the job search, and the Career Center should have staff to provide guidance for students who are unsure of their career interests and intentions.

With this new attention on underclassmen should come a larger emphasis on students obtaining internships, especially in the city of Baltimore. The University publicly prides itself in connecting and giving back to Baltimore City, but currently does not have strong employment ties between its students and the city. Students spend at least nine months out of the year in Baltimore, and many seek part-time internships in addition to their coursework. Moreover, many students stay in Baltimore over summers to take classes, conduct research, intern or a combination. Some dorm buildings have 11-month leases, which monetarily incentivizes students to stay around campus for the summer following that living situation. Due to this, the Career Center should strengthen its network of Baltimore internships for both semesters and the summer. There are a plethora of opportunities and businesses in Baltimore, but students lack the knowledge of internship possibilities that surround them.

Another issue with the Career Center is its current lack of synergy with other relevant advising departments on campus. The pre-professional advising, academic advising and major advising resources should be better connected with the Career Center as they are all extremely interconnected in intention and practice. The current system provides almost no crossover, essentially leaving students to bounce among the different offices and advisors in order to advance their career interests. These departments would become much more efficient by committing to open communication and cooperation, and the Career Center would improve its utility to students in fields other than tech and consulting.

The University is bursting with ambitious students eager to kickstart their careers, and the Career Center should reflect and encourage this drive. The new director has an opportunity to create and implement a new vision for the institution, and the Editorial Board hopes that she will bring a fresh and discerning outlook.

 

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The News-Letter.

News-Letter Special Editions