Letter to the Editor: Presnell highlights changes to be implemented at UCS

Mark Presnell

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The Daily Northwestern, Northwestern students, and the entire Northwestern community:

First, let me express my excitement for joining the Northwestern community. I was drawn to the position of Executive Director of University Career Services because of the excellence of Northwestern and its students.

I appreciate Mr. McLaughlin’s comments about our services and look forward to meeting more students over the next year to learn about their specific career needs. Feedback from Northwestern students is crucial to our success in providing exemplary career services.

(McLaughlin: University Career Services can use some improvement)

We’ve already begun enhancing our counseling, advising, programming and employer relations offerings — a vision that started last year with our Vice President of Student Affairs, Patricia Telles-Irvin. These advancements are driven by input we received in many focus groups with Northwestern students, employers and academic partners.

This quarter, we are concentrating on making it easier for students to access our services through the following additions:

  • A new advising model that allows staff members to work with students from a particular school and create individualized plans specific to each student’s career goals. Students will now have one adviser throughout their time at Northwestern.
  • Drop-in express hours every day in one location on campus (the UCS Express Advising Center in the Main Library) to increase the number of students we can serve daily.
  • Online scheduling that will allow students to make counseling and advising appointments at their convenience rather than calling UCS. Full rollout of online scheduling will occur throughout the quarter.

Northwestern has also invested in a substantial upgrade of our building on Lincoln Street to create a warm, professional environment for students to meet with staff and interview with employers.  If you have not had a chance to visit, please stop by our offices or schedule an appointment.

(University Career Services welcomes new director, changes approach)

Alterations to UCS are still underway, and we anticipate continuing to grow and develop our services each year. Mr. McLaughlin’s editorial mentioned the need for students to receive field-specific information about their career goals. High on my agenda is to create opportunities for alumni to educate students about their fields and provide guidance on how to successfully find internships and entry-level career options. It is through a partnership of UCS staff, Northwestern alumni, and employer partners that I believe will ensure the success of our students and alumni.

All the staff members at UCS, including myself, look forward to working closely with every Northwestern student so that each may set career goals and develop the skills necessary for success throughout their time at Northwestern and beyond.

— Dr. Mark Presnell, executive director, University Career Services