As students frequent the Office of Career Counseling (OCC) this time of year in search of summer jobs and internships, we are looking forward to increased cooperation between career counseling and Alumni Relations. The integration of the OCC and Alumni Relations in Mears House seems fundamentally logical: The OCC will benefit from increased access to the College’s extensive alumni network, and Alumni Relations will be provided with renewed opportunities to connect with current students. It is promising to see the College integrating these important offices in thoughtful and advantageous ways.
However, the OCC’s relocation to Mears House, a building few students on campus are familiar with, will pose new challenges. Whereas Weston Hall encouraged daily student traffic due to classes, Mears House has limited exposure. We encourage the OCC to maintain student involvement and publicize its new location to students, faculty and staff.
Ensuring that the College community is aware not only of the OCC’s new location but also of its increased access to alumni resources is critical to the success of this integration. The OCC and Alumni Relations, which will now be able to coordinate from across the hall, should utilize their collective strength, co-sponsoring events in prominent locations on campus and more consistently involving alumni, who often emerge as the most helpful of career-starters. As much as students should reach out to the OCC and Alumni Relations, these offices should also take it upon themselves to encourage students to recognize their value.
While the details of the transition into Mears House are not fully established, the OCC’s departure from Weston provides the College with another exciting opportunity. While Weston may require renovations, the College should ensure that the building is quickly put back to use, perhaps as additional classroom space or a senior co-op to meet recent student demands. Steve Klass, vice president for operations, mentioned a committee to determine the most appropriate use of Weston. The OCC will occupy Weston until July, but this committee – comprised of students, faculty and staff – should be formed immediately to expedite the transition. It must also solicit advice from across the community, for Weston may suit a role we have yet to consider.
The decision to move the OCC to Mears House is exciting. However, the College must continue to rise to the task going forward by both appropriately utilizing Weston and embracing collaboration between the OCC and Alumni Relations.