The College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota has embarked on an ambitious project to make career readiness an integral part of the undergraduate student experience through the Career Readiness Initiative. The College of Liberal Arts (CLA) Career Services office is central to this college-wide effort and is a national leader in evolving their approach to serving liberal arts students in a changing talent landscape.
The primary focus of the office is to prepare CLA undergraduate students to navigate the life-long career management process and excel in their chosen fields by empowering them to…
Explore: discover their unique strengths, values, interests, and identities as they explore career pathways.
Experience: engage in experiential opportunities that foster thoughtful reflection, planning, decision-making, and professional growth.
Excel: launch from college to career by articulating and applying their liberal arts education in order to adapt, thrive, and be innovative leaders in a diverse and ever-changing world.
CLA Career Services is a part of CLA’s Office of Undergraduate Education, which provides exceptional, inclusive undergraduate experiences to students through innovation, research, and personalized educational partnerships. The Office of Undergraduate Education includes academic advising & student services; office of student experience; career readiness initiative; curriculum; application development and data analytics; communication, recruitment, scholarships and awards; diversity, inclusion and equity programs and initiatives; individualized degree programs; and learning abroad initiative. Together, the unit provides resources, opportunities, and systems that promote student academic success, professional readiness, and personal well-being. With approximately 14,000 undergraduates, 31 academic departments, and 65+ majors and 70+ minors, the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) is the University of Minnesota’s largest undergraduate college. Our student service teams assist undergraduates in identifying meaningful academic and professional goals that reflect their strengths and interests and in developing informed educational and co-curricular plans to reach those goals. By helping students to identify their strengths and interests, and by helping them discover pertinent resources, information, and options, we assist our undergraduates in making choices that will inform their education and personal development as a whole.
CLA is strongly committed to career readiness for its students by focusing on their development of ten Core Career Competencies. Nine of these competencies reflect the very essence of liberal arts education - and the competitive advantage it represents in today’s uncertain and dynamic economy. Career management, the tenth competency, gives students the necessary tools to seek and obtain careers. Career Readiness is the ability of students to articulate how a liberal arts education prepares them for future careers. It is their liberal arts advantage.
About the Position
CLA is seeking a visionary, strategic, collaborative, and innovative leader as the next director of its Career Services unit who is eager to break new ground and continue the evolution of both career services and the career readiness effort in the college. The director of career services leads a team of 15 full-time staff. The director reports to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, and is a member of the associate dean’s leadership team. The director is a key partner in the college’s Career Readiness Initiative.
CLA Career Services has a strong commitment to support the University’s goal of creating a positive and inclusive campus climate for all. We are seeking a diverse pool of candidates with varying identities and backgrounds.
Establish overall strategic direction and goals for the CLA Career Services office, and partner with CLA Undergraduate Education leadership to ensure alignment with broader vision and goals of undergraduate education. Serve on UGE leadership committees. Secure the support of colleagues on key CLA Career Services projects, and facilitate the Career Services office's support of the work being conducted across the Office of Undergraduate Education.
Serve as a member of UGE’s leadership team providing strategic leadership.
Build and maintain strong integration with CLA’s college-wide Career Readiness Initiative (CRI). Participate in leadership activities for the CRI. Ensure that Career Services resources, including staff, are aligned with the CRI and contributing to the success of the initiative.
Integrate the Departmental Career Services model and the Career Field model as strategies helping liberal arts students understand the broad range of opportunities available to them outside of their major.
Engage actively with academic departments and faculty through helping CLA departments articulate career opportunities for their students. As Career Readiness has made career preparedness a central mission of the college, departments are rethinking their role in helping students prepare for their future creating an opportunity for dynamic change.
Ensure that CLA Career Services provides a welcoming, supportive and inclusive environment that fosters the growth and development of students from diverse backgrounds. Provide ongoing professional development in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice.
Assess and refine the delivery model for career services to ensure that the office utilizes the most effective approaches to delivering career services to students. This includes assessing new technology and the creation of an online ecosystem linking various tools and resources to address scalability needs of the college.
Integrate employers who hire students for internships or jobs and alumni into all aspects of the career services delivery model to help teach students about careers.
Advocate for diverse staffing, resources, and technology to best support the office's goals.
Research and maintain knowledge of industry and workforce trends relevant to preparing liberal arts students for the world of work. Share trends with CLA colleagues to ensure that they can utilize the information as they develop strategic initiatives, establish policies, and serve students.
Actively participate in campus, state, and national professional associations and groups to network with colleagues and to enhance the visibility of CLA and the University of Minnesota. Present at conferences, and serve in organizational leadership roles.
Administration of CLA Career Services Office Work (50%)
Execute a comprehensive program of career services, Career Management curriculum, internships, and employer engagement initiatives that are integrated into the overall CLA Undergraduate Education unit.
Provide leadership to office staff of 15, which includes 2 assistant directors, 1 assistant to the director, 1 curriculum coordinator, 8 full-time career counselors, 2 employer relations specialists, 1 course instructor, and 1 principal office and administrative specialist. Also provide guidance for the CLA internship coordinator and communications coordinator, who report to other units in CLA but participate in much of CLA Career Services’ work. Office also includes 2 part-time graduate student career counselors and around 10 undergraduate student employees.
Supervise work of all direct reports (2 assistant directors, curriculum coordinator, assistant to the director, pre-law advisor, and principal office and administrative specialist). Set goals, monitor performance, and provide feedback. Promote professional development of staff. Conduct annual performance reviews of all direct reports.
Develop and utilize metrics to assess the Career Services unit's effectiveness and make adjustments in response to data.
Lead the office's promotion and use of the University of Minnesota's survey of new graduates and the post-collegiate outcomes system-wide project. Analyze data and disseminate results to key stakeholders.
Establish priorities and create new programs as needed to meet evolving career needs of liberal arts students.
Ensure that University of Minnesota career services operations are streamlined and clear to students and employers.
Build and Maintain Relationships with Campus Partners (15%)
Serve as office representative on collegiate or university committees to ensure that CLA Career Services office work is well-integrated into the educational environment in CLA.
Collaborate with other campus administrators whose work is also related to career development, including career services offices in other colleges at the U of M, the Office for Student Affairs, the Learning Abroad Center, the University of Minnesota Alumni Association, or others.
Collaborate with CLA Institutional Advancement staff to build relationships with alumni, prospective donors, and current donors. Articulate for donors the needs in the career services office and the impact of gifts that are given.
Represent CLA Career Services to Stakeholders (5%)
Act as a key partner in the recruitment of prospective first-year and transfer students. Represent CLA Career Services at admissions events for prospective students. Articulate the value of a liberal arts education and the emphasis that CLA places on student career success.
Develop and conduct presentations for parents of current students, articulating the value of a liberal arts education and promoting CLA Career Services.
Represent CLA Career Services to the media, promoting effective career management techniques and enhancing the visibility of CLA and the University of Minnesota.
Provide Career Support for Liberal Arts Students (5%)
Meet individually with students who have specialized career planning needs, or who need to speak with the director regarding office services. Educate and coach students on career planning, job search strategies, resume development, and interview techniques.
Create and deliver presentations to groups of students on career success for liberal arts students, resume writing, interviewing skills, job-search strategies, or similar topics. Design presentations. Based on an understanding of student career development theory, utilize teaching methods that promote student engagement with the material being taught.
At least 10 years of experience with progressively increasing responsibilities, including supervision and positions requiring in-depth understanding of college student career development
Demonstrated experience supervising a team and leading in a strategic and visionary manner
Demonstrated effectiveness supporting principles of equal opportunity, diversity and inclusion including experience supporting students and staff with varying identities and backgrounds
Strong belief in the value of liberal arts and demonstrated effectiveness in supporting the career development of liberal arts students
Demonstrated responsiveness to changes in the domestic and international world of work
Experience leading a career services team in a dynamic and changing environment
Experience helping employers understand the value that liberal arts students bring to the workplace
Advanced degree in counseling, student affairs, higher education, or a related field
Budget management experience
Demonstrated understanding of current issues, best practices, and emerging trends in higher education career services
Data-minded individual with experience assessing outcomes and ensuring that resources are being used to create positive outcomes for students, a positive work environment for staff, and in support of collegiate priorities