UCS hires student liaisons

Students seeking career advice will no longer have to make the long trek to Undergraduate Career Services.

Instead, a student liaison in each college will go over resumes, suggest internships and perform many of the same tasks that UCS counselors currently handle. Yale College Council Treasurer and YCC-UCS Committee chairman Brandon Levin ’13 devised the program, to be unveiled Wednesday, in an effort to bring UCS’s underutilized services closer to campus.

“Essentially what we’re doing is training students from each college to solve the biggest problem for UCS, which is one of accessibility, because few students make the time to go down to UCS,” Levin said.

UCS will train the 12 students hired for this position extensively, Levin said, and they will report to a new UCS Residential College Advisory Board, comprising top UCS employees, Levin and several college deans.

Dean of International and Professional Experience Jane Edwards agreed that students do not take advantage of her office’s programs because its Whitney Avenue location is inconvenient, and said she believes this program, which she designed with Levin this fall, could improve the situation. She added that the program represents an important change in UCS’s relationship with the student body.

“Obviously there is no point in running wonderful programs if no one is using them, so the question is how to fix this,” she said. “[This program] is certainly emblematic of a change in the way that UCS hopes to work with students.”

Five students interviewed said they have struggled to take advantage of UCS.

David Yu ’13 attributed the problem to the location.

“I haven’t had any trouble with it, besides it being located in, like, outer Mongolia,” he said.

But four other students said they had also encountered problems booking appointments because the office has a shortage of career counselors.

Former pre-med student Emmy Pickett ’12 said bringing advisers to the colleges could improve the UCS experience.

“It was way too overcrowded, the staff seemed sort of distant and the people didn’t really seem to get involved,” she said. “If they were involved in the residential colleges, it could be a little more personal.”

Although the structure of the program is laid out, the details are still in the works, UCS Assistant Director Melissa Berkey said. She said she expects more concrete specifics to be available closer to the end of the month.

For now, the program is recruiting student employees, who will be able to apply for the job when Levin and the YCC send out an e-mail Wednesday.

Deputy Director of UCS Elayne Mazzarella said she thinks this program has the potential to restructure relations between students and UCS in the long run.

“We feel that this initiative will be an excellent way to ensure that the services offered by UCS are more fully understood and utilized by students, and that we in UCS may develop a better understanding of how we can help students use our resources and engage in effective and independent planning for their careers and summer activities,” she said.

The application deadline for the job will be midnight on Feb. 6.

Correction: February 1, 2011

An earlier version of this story misspelled Elayne Mazzarella’s name. Additionally, Dean Jane Edwards was incorrectly referred to as UCS director; she is the Dean of International and Professional Experience.

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