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“Join the Movement”- a look at Stanford University’s new Career Center Model

“Join the Movement”- a look at Stanford University’s new Career Center Model

EACE Blog contribution by Amy Weinstein, Assistant Director/Technology Manager at Bryant University

Has there ever been a more exciting time to be working in the field of Career Development?   In the words of Farouk Dey, Associate Vice Provost & Dean of Career Education at Stanford University:  “There is no question that the field of career services is going through a major paradigm shift.”    So, when Dey arrived on the Stanford campus in April 2013, one of his first tasks was to help formulate a new model of career services at Stanford.

stanford-join-the-movementForever changed by the economic downturn in 2008, career services has been forced to reconsider its approach to “positioning, structure and delivery” according to an article published in the NACE Spotlight on Careers entitled: “Stanford Moving to Career Connections Model of Career Services.”  In collaboration with a steering committee representing a diverse group of stakeholders, Dey proposed that the new career center model focus on three key elements:

  1. “Career Communities” – connections with student and faculty communities within designated academic departments.  Counselors are encouraged to schedule fewer traditional appointments in favor of “career meetups” located in public lounge areas inside academic buildings.
  1. “Career Catalysts” –  connections with alumni and parent communities through mentoring and networking programs.   The Stanford Alumni Mentoring Program already matches students with alumni mentors.  Future plans involve recruiting more alumni and parents as career coaches/mentors.
  1. “Career Ventures” – connections with employer communities, including traditional recruiting efforts such as career fairs, but also hiring industry experts to build networks with employers and create a pipeline to student internship and employment opportunities.

What trends can we find in this model that might apply to our own Centers?

  • Emphasis on community and building partnerships with our constituencies on and off campus including: students, faculty, alumni, parents and more…
  • Increased personal service such as: putting a face with “your career counselor,” sending personalized emails, sending tweets from your own account or holding counseling sessions in students’ space.
  • Actively matching opportunities to student interests through hiring professional experts to connect with employers in particular niche industries.
  • Outcomes!!  All of these services must be measured.  Stanford has also created a “Branding & Digital Communities” area of their career center, including a position devoted to research & assessments.

No longer can career services operate passively, using a traditional model of “waiting” for students and employers to knock on our doors.  The challenge is to find the resources on our campuses to build communities that will serve our students with the individual attention they are seeking.

More information about “Join the Movement” at Stanford:


Amy Weinstein

Amy Weinstein

Amy Weinstein, Assistant Director/Technology Manager at Bryant University, has been assisting students with career advising for over 15 years. Amy has worked in career services offices at the University of Rhode Island and the University of San Francisco. She has also worked as a university relations recruiter for AMD Corporation.  Amy has a Master of Science in Career Counseling from San Francisco State University and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Rhode Island.

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