DANIEL SMITH/THE HOYA The Office of Professional Development opened in the McDonough School of Business this September. It will provide additional career advice and opportunities to students interested in business-related fields.
The Office of Professional Development opened in the McDonough School of Business this September. It will provide additional career advice and opportunities to students interested in business-related fields.

The McDonough School of Business launched the Office of Professional Development in September to serve as an additional career resource for business students, who already benefit the most directly from the services provided through the Cawley Career Education Center.

The office supplements the aid already provided by the Cawley Career Education Center and offers career education, alumni mentorship and skill development to better prepare business students for summer internships and entering the workforce after graduation.

“As a top business school, it is important that we provide individualized career counseling to ensure that McDonough students are prepared to enter the marketplace when they graduate,” said Norean Sharpe, senior associate dean and director of the undergraduate MSB program. “We have a great track record of success working with the Cawley Career Education Center, and this new Office of Professional Development will continue to expand this partnership.”

The office will provide a variety of services, including walk-ins, one-on-one coaching, small group advising, boot camps and workshops, employer events, the alumni mentor program, and visits to various companies twice a semester. This semester, the office will be sending students to Philadelphia with the Georgetown University Real Estate Club to look for jobs. Intended to be an additional source of information for students interested in business-oriented careers, the office will also specifically assist MSB students still trying to plan out their lives after graduation.

“We are here to complement the Cawley Career Center and what they are providing; we are not trying to fix the Career Center as they are doing a great job already,” said Rebecca Cassidy, assistant dean and director of the Professional Development Center. “We have much more specific programming for MSB students. Whether you don’t know what major to choose, know exactly what you want to do but don’t know how to get there or are just wondering what the next step is, we can meet you where you are and help you get to the next step.”

While the Office of Professional Development caters to MSB students, some students outside of the business school remain wary about their chances of finding summer internships, and more importantly, a job after graduation, as their current career resources remain unchanged. Students looking to pursue something not in a business field already see the Cawley Career Center as catering to only those industries.

“I’ve actually never been to the Career Center, but from what I’ve heard from my friends, a lot of people are frustrated that most of the jobs they offer are for accounting and finance,” Jessica Ellison (COL ’17) said.

“The Career Center never really seems to have openings for jobs that are actually interesting to me,” James Toohey (COL ’15) said.

While a large portion of jobs and internships offered by the Career Center are in the accounting, finance, consulting and marketing industries, Cawley Career Center Executive Director Mike Schaub said the center provides opportunities extending beyond business fields.

“The Career Center continues to provide job and internship opportunities, employer events and alumni connections in industries outside of finance and consulting. Last year, our on-campus interviewing program hosted employers from biotechnology, pharmaceutical sales, education, government, health care, hospitality, human resources, law professions, public relations and retail,” Schaub said.

The Career Center aims to have a large variety of non-business related positions available, listing potential internships for industries from health to education.

“Currently, we have over 1,500 job and internship listings in fields outside of finance and consulting,” Schaub said. “In addition, the Career Center’s industry advisers assist students with finding opportunities in health, science, government, international development, entrepreneurship, technology, education, public relations, arts and volunteerism, as well as in finance, consulting and accounting.”

However, for non-MSB students who are interested in business, collaborations between the Office and the Career Center are open to students from all schools.

“The Cawley Career Education Center has already begun partnering closely with the Office of Professional Development,” Schaub said. “For example, the Cawley Career Education Center, the MBA Career Management Center and the Office of Professional Development hosted Facebook on campus Sept. 9. Students from many different academic programs attended this event to learn more about opportunities with Facebook..”

While the career center and the Office of Professional Development will remain two separate entities, they will continue to collaborate frequently to put on events for the benefit of students across campus. The Office of Professional Development will serve as an outlet for MSB students to sharpen their resumes, develop interview skills and learn from MSB alumni in order to better prepare them for the competitive nature of the post-graduate business world.

One Comment

  1. Thanks for this article!

    I appreciate Jessica and James’s concerns. Their perceptions may be connected to the finance/accounting/consulting employers’ early-in-the-semester timelines and visible (in that they’re physically present on campus) recruiting process. Other industries or companies with a less visible, more rolling-basis approach will seem a bit elusive.

    The folks who work at the Cawley Career Education Center are available to talk with students about finding information and opportunities in any industry (Mike referenced our industry advisors who do this work), and also to engage with students who aren’t sure what they want to do (our career counselors facilitate these conversations). For a more full picture of our center and what we offer, take a look at our End of Year Report which features information about industries we represent and comments from students who have used our services.


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