Career Center hires Cardozo as new director of Career Discovery Program

There is a new face and a new program at the Career Center this year. Karen Cardozo has been hired as the director of the Career Discovery Program in an effort to revamp the Center’s connection with students on campus.

The new position and program are designed specifically to engage first-years and sophomores with the Career Center earlier on during their time at the College.

John Noble, director of the Career Center, hopes that this outreach will “completely change the perception that Williams students sometimes have of the Career Center … that it only caters to those interested in business.”

Cardozo has over 20 years of experience in higher education career counseling. She graduated from Haverford with a B.A. and from Harvard with an M.Ed. Noble cites her “understanding of how students approach their lives” as one of her primary  qualifications for the job.

Most of Cardozo’s responsibility will include helping students with self-assessment tests and self-discovery, especially in the case of students who are undecided or unsure of their desired career direction.

According to Noble, the Career Center staff hopes that Cardozo’s position will better meet student needs and paint a different picture of the Center as a place for students to go not just when looking for a job but also when looking to build lifelong career skills.

“I was hired to focus on two primary areas: First, to build a strong generalist counseling compatible with a liberal arts orientation. Williams students are multitalented and often have multiple interests, so we shouldn’t automatically assume they approach the Career Center with a single interest or future field in mind,” Cardozo said. “The second and related aspect of my new role is fostering early engagement of first-years and sophomores. A key message I deliver at all my programs is: The real issue is not ‘What’s the best career?’ in any objective sense, but, ‘What’s the best career for me?’ along with, ‘What is a good next step for me?’”

Throughout the year, Cardozo will host various workshops for student groups, athletic teams and student-centered College offices, as well as arrange for one-on-one meetings with students.

  • Karen Cardozo

    Thank you for your well-written article on my arrival at the Career Center –both “news” in the literal sense and a public service informing students about valuable campus resources. I’m writing with a not-so minor correction: the article states that I have “20 years of experience in higher education career counseling” and mentions my undergraduate and master’s degrees. But in fact, I also have a Ph.D. in English and American Studies and spent only four years “officially” in career counseling; subsequently, I advised and taught students as a dean and faculty member within the Five College consortium (which includes another purple college not to be mentioned here!).

    Clarifying this “detail” is important not only for journalistic accuracy but for two reasons relevant to my new job: 1) my own life models a number of career changes due to both micro- and macro-level factors of the kind that students may encounter in the future and 2) my hybrid academic, administrative, and counseling background is what equips me not only to develop a robust liberal arts career exploration model but also to work in an informed way with faculty, deans, and staff in partner offices towards collaborative advising systems. Indeed, what I like best about my new role is engaging with the whole student: in career counseling, academics, co-curricular, and off-campus experiences are all relevant.

    So my colleagues and I look forward to many of those integrative conversations over the coming year – whether in our new weekly Who Am I and Where Am I Going? (self-assessment and prioritization) or How Do I Get There? (skills and strategies) workshops or in individual counseling appointments. Thanks again for noticing this new face on campus!

    Best,
    Karen Cardozo