For the past two and a half years, Director of Undergraduate Career Services Philip Jones has been working to bring the career center up to a standard of which he can be proud. Now that he feels he is finally beginning to succeed, he is ready to begin marketing his product.
Jones and his staff have targeted four populations within Yale college in which they hope to increase awareness and accessibility of UCS programs — students of color, gay and lesbian students, athletes, and international students.
Since becoming director, Jones has brought 14 new staff members to UCS, and added 5 new positions. Since 1999, the number of one-on-one appointments with career counselors has more than doubled, Jones said. Campus recruiters now come to Yale throughout the year rather than just in the spring, and the office coordinates a host of fairs including the non-profit fair and the international fair.
Jones said he decided to work in conjunction with the cultural houses because traditionally students of color have “not felt as well served by this office.”
Rosalinda Garcia, who was appointed director of the Latino and Native American Cultural Houses in October, said it has been her experience at other schools that minority students are less likely to seek out resources than other students.
“Many of our Latino students come from very poor schools with very few resources, so they’re not aware of the type of things Yale has to offer,” Garcia said.
Ingrid Fuentes ’03, the recruitment chair of the Puerto Rican student group Despierta Boricua, said many minority students are at Yale precisely because they have learned to exploit the resources at their disposal. But she said increasing awareness about the services UCS has to offer is nonetheless a good idea.
“A lot of people don’t think of UCS because they may not see it as useful or accessible,” Fuentes said. “But if they are encouraged to utilize their facilities and services, they probably would.”
Garcia said she is excited about the possibility of bringing career counselors to Cultural House study breaks or weekly meetings. Jones said UCS programs in conjunction with the Afro-American and Asian American cultural centers have been well-received.
Beth Olsen, one of the UCS staff members in charge of reaching out to the gay and lesbian students at Yale, said these students can face unique questions in their jobs searches.
“For example,” Olsen wrote in an e-mail, “Should I be out on my resume? If I don’t want to be out on my resume, how do I list my LGBT college activities? Will being out affect my chances for getting into law school?”
Jesse Markman ’04, who has chosen not to indicate on his resume that he is gay, said students must make a distinction between relevant and unnecessary information for their resumes.
“For example, I don’t think it’s relevant to say, ‘I came out of the closet on such and such date,'” Markman said. “I wouldn’t expect someone who was straight to say ‘I’ve known I’ve been straight for a number of years.'”
Olsen said she plans to solicit advice from LGBT leaders about the career-related needs of gay and lesbian students, organize informal forums in which students can ask questions, and offer confidential appointments.
Jones cited scheduling challenges as the reason he decided to include athletes as one of the target groups.
“We have a lot of meetings at night,” Jones said. “Student athletes might have practices, games, or be traveling. By talking to them we realized we had to have some of our meetings on Saturdays.”
Ann Kuhlman, director of the Office for International Students and Scholars, said she and Jones have pooled their expertise in recent workshops to educate students about laws and regulations that affect their ability to work in the United States.
“I think that since career services has reinvented itself, I think the desire is to get the word out to all student constituencies and it made sense to do it together,” Kuhlman said.