A Walkabout...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

We have heard about the "walkabouts" undertaken by indigenous Australians as a rite of passage and a way to learn the paths of their ancestors by following their "songlines." As Wikipedia puts it, "a knowledgeable person is able to navigate across the land by repeating the words of the song, which describe the location of landmarks, waterholes, and other natural phenomena"...

Two months into this job, I have tried my own mini version of a walkabout around the Carlson School, to learn about all the activities that go on here. In the process, I have met an amazing group of people and have been blown away by their enthusiasm and creativity. In my earlier faculty and research roles, I knew well what the academic departments and faculty did and had a fair bit of exposure to the programs and to our students. But I have now seen parts of the school I had little knowledge of as a faculty member, and have been thrilled to see the breadth and complexity of activities involved in delivering on our mission, and the dedication to our students of the people I've met.

Did you know our undergraduate and graduate career centers stretch along a whole city block in Hanson Hall? When the staff shared with me how much activity had taken place in the past year, I understood why.

During the last school year, our UBCC provided more than 1,000 coaching opportunities for students and the 100 companies who actively recruit here posted more than 2,400 jobs. On the GBCC side, the staff held 1,315 coaching appointments with the 650 active job-seeking students across the programs. I could go on and on about the number of mentor/mentee pairings and the interview practice sessions they held last year.

What were the results of these efforts? At 90 days after graduation, 87 percent of our Undergraduates and 96 percent of our Full-Time MBA student had been placed in jobs - a remarkable number in today's economic environment.

Faculty, staff and students, if you haven't had a chance to do your own walkabout and meet the staff of the career centers, I highly encourage you to do so. I sense you will be as amazed as I was by all that they do to enhance the Carlson experience.

Career Center