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The Maurice Horowitch Career Center
The Maurice Horowitch Career Center

Career Changes

By Mike Debraggio
Posted August 20, 2010
Tags Career Center
Why change an important program that already enjoys high rates of usage and gets high marks from students?

“If we see a way to make a good program better, we owe it to our students to make the change,” said Hamilton President Joan Hinde Stewart when announcing that the Maurice Horowitch Career Center will move from the Division of Student Life to the Office of Communications and Development, effective immediately.

“I believe that this move will create new opportunities for students,” Stewart said.

The change puts Career Center professionals in closer contact with those who work directly with alumni and parents, thereby facilitating even greater interaction between students and these groups.

In addition to changing the reporting structure, Stewart said she has charged Vice President for Communications and Development Dick Tantillo and Career Center Director Kino Ruth with envisaging a “best-in-class” career planning program over the course of the coming academic year.

“We’re certainly building from strength,” said Tantillo, who worked in the career counseling field early in his career. “This is already a substantial program with high rates of student participation in career exploration activities. Our goal will be building on that program by harnessing the enthusiasm and expertise of our alumni and parents.”

Tantillo said a few colleges and universities have already adopted similar reporting structures, so the concept is not new. “Based on what we’ve learned from our peers, this change has the potential for being even more effective at Hamilton because it will tap into an already well-established and loyal network of Hamilton alumni and parents.”

“My staff and I are excited about this new direction because of the opportunities it will provide for our students,” said Ruth. “We’re looking forward to joining with our colleagues in C&D to make career services at Hamilton a nationally recognized model that both prepares and showcases the talents and experiences that Hamilton graduates bring with them to the world of work. This move will allow us to further leverage and benefit from the expertise of our alumni in meeting our objectives.”

The resources of the Maurice Horowitch Career Center are available to all Hamilton students, and increasingly to alumni. Much of the student contact with the Career Center is in the form of individual appointments with professional counselors, four of whom have more than 20 years’ experience in career counseling. Counselors guide students through a four-year developmental process that includes a series of “milestones.” One of these milestones is helping students obtain career-related experience through internships, job-shadowing experiences and research projects, because students with such experience are more competitive when seeking their first job or acceptance to graduate or professional school.

The Career Center also provides students with direct online access to multiple consortia and electronic resources. A relatively new program now provides alumni-funded stipends to about 30 students so that they can pursue non-paid internships in the summer. Just five years ago, half that number of students received financial support. Those internships are in addition to the approximately 100 Hamilton students who receive funding to pursue career-related experience through summer research projects on campus and around the world.

On average, over the past four years, three-quarters of seniors and a steadily growing percentage of the remaining undergraduates have used the services of the Career Center. According to Ruth, counselors teach the career development process while simultaneously assisting students to meet their current needs. Instead of finding specific jobs for students, counselors teach the lifetime skills necessary for identifying opportunities throughout one’s career and for making an individual attractive to future employers.

Ninety-two percent of the graduates from the Class of 2009 were employed, in graduate school or pursuing fellowships within 11 months of graduation. The top employment fields for recent Hamilton graduates are education, finance, management, law, marketing and sales. Among the 20 percent of seniors choosing to pursue graduate study immediately after commencement, the top fields of study are law, science and mathematics, and health care.

In a survey of seniors conducted just prior to graduation, Hamilton students expressed a higher level of satisfaction with their career counseling than their peers at others colleges.

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