Employers will seek students at new career center

Laura Morales

The new Center for Career Exploration and Development, which will give recruiters a renovated space to meet with students, is moving into its design phase.

The facility on the second floor of the Flawn Academic Center will include 40 meeting rooms, a waiting room and two multi-purpose rooms which will accommodate 150 people, said Robert Vega, University Career Engagement deputy director. The project has completed planning and programming, but the schedule is still being finalized, said Linda Tsai, the project manger with Project Management and Construction Services. The new center is projected to cost $9 million.

This new center will replace the current career center in the Student Services Building which contains 12 interview rooms and a waiting room but does not have a large event room or computers for online interviews. Norma Guerra Gaier, University Career Services executive director, said the new center will help increase access to the services they provide to students. 

“We want to make sure we level the playing field,” Gaier said. “Every single UT student should have the ability to engage in career exploration and have the opportunity to compete for full-time employment and be competitive for graduate and professional schools.”

At the new center, students will be able to reserve an interview space with a computer for online interviews. Recruiting events will occur in the larger multi-purpose room. The career center will be staffed with 25 to 30 career center coaches, who will be divided by industry. They will also have peer advisors for students looking for résumé coaching and a guide to all the services offered by the University.

“The work we are doing is … to support the colleges whose needs are not in sync with what is happening in (their) career centers,” Gaier said. “Not that they are not doing their job, but this is more of a strategic approach to make sure all of our students’ needs are met.”

Vega said these coaches will also offer specialized services to underrepresented students, such as first-generation students, minority groups and students with disabilities. The career center will be working with the individual colleges and employers who are seeking diverse talent.

“These career managers will be connecting with our underrepresented students to make sure they have equity of access,” Vega said. “We use the word equity because it is what drives us to create this programming.”

Vega said the new programming includes an employer engagement team, which will be reaching out to employers who have not traditionally recruited at UT, and a team working on strategic outcomes who will survey students and find more opportunities for students based on the data. He said another program includes the Internship for All project, which will ensure that almost all students compliment their learning with internships.

Computer science junior Divya Manohar has been looking for employment since the start of the school year. She said that while the atmosphere was very comforting at the current center where she interviewed recently, she is glad they will be building a new facility.

“I am sure at the new place they will try to make us feel more comfortable while you’re waiting for interviews,” Manohar said. “You can worry about the interview itself rather than the room you’re in.”

Editor's Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly attributed the information about the project schedule. The Texan regrets this error.