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Career Assistance Redesign Prepares for Open Meetings

By Shang-Lin Chuang
news editor

The career assistance redesign team is meeting with various administrative, faculty, and student groups as it prepares to present its findings at several open meetings next week.

The team, part of the entire student services re-engineering effort, was formed last month for the purpose of redesigning all career assistance services at the Institute, said Anthony J. Ives G, who is the project manager for the team.

"We will be looking at all the career services that currently exist across campus," including the Office of Career Services and Preprofessional Advising, the Alumni Office, the Sloan Careers Office, and various internship programs, Ives said. "We will come up with a new plan to better serve students, faculty, staff, and administration."

The team officially began its work Sept. 17, said team member Monica McConnell '91, coordinator of the student and parents programs. "But various groups were approached during the summer to hear their opinion."

"The team is going out to the community next week for a reality check on our findings and processes," Ives said. "After that, there will be visioning' sessions for the next two weeks in which a new plan will be created. In December, we will again go to the community with the proposed recommendations, and hopefully have a final report ready after that."

The locations and times of the open meetings have not been decided yet, Ives said. Students will be notified through posters in the Infinite Corridor as well as through e-mail.

Current services decentralized

"Right now the various career services are very decentralized," said team member Janet L. Serman, alumni affairs officer for career services. "The various offices don't know and don't talk to each other. We are studying these offices and the services they offer to see if there is any overlap."

"What we're really saying here is that we want these services to be the best they can be," said team co-captain Jeannette Gerzon, associate director and advisor on preprofessional education. "We really do value students and why they are here - to learn and then to contribute to the world through their work as they leave."

In addition to Institute groups, the team also has been talking to outside companies to see what kind of services they provide, said team member Lt. Col. Buckner M. Creel IV, professor of military science. "MIT is a unique environment, so most of the outside techniques need to be modify to suit our needs."

Recommendations created team

The team, created as a result of the recommendations made by the student services assessment team, is looking at the processes of career counseling and advising; planning for work, service, or further education; and operations of recruiting processes and feedback from employers.

The assessment team has made several recommendations that suggest an integrated approach to career services, additional programs for students, improved communication between offices, enhanced customer focus, and potential career-development programs for MIT personnel.

"We are the next logical step following the recommendations of the assessment team," Creel said. "But we are certainly not the last step. An implementation team will take over after December to carry out the recommendations that were made. It is not locked in stone - it is a continuous process."

The team is composed of Carolina F. Avendano '97; Creel; Stephen D. Immerman, director of administration and operations; Marc A. Mander '97; McConnell; Laura M. Robinson '80, executive director of special programs in the school of engineering; Serman; Robert D. St. Cyr, industrial liaison officer in the industrial liaison program; Tammy Stevens '97; and Peter A. Wolff, professor of physics. The team's co-captains are Gerzon and Martin F. Schlecht '82, professor of electrical engineering and computer science. The team is sponsored by William J. Hecht '61, executive vice president of the alumni association.