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UVM Career+Experience Hub Celebrates Grand Opening Oct. 8

Career+Experince Hub
Meeting with career peer mentors like Abbey Dunn and Zachary Gruver is just one of the services available to students at the new Career+Experience Hub in the Davis Center. (Photo: Sally McCay)

A key component of the University of Vermont’s program to enhance undergraduate career preparation, the Career+Experience Hub, had its official grand opening at 2 p.m. on Oct. 8 in the atrium of the Davis Center. UVM president Tom Sullivan, Student Government Association president Connor Daley, and Graduate Student Senate president Lane Manning made remarks, and staff conducted rotating tours of the Career+Experience Hub for groups of eight to 10. 

The Career+Experience Hub, located in a heavily trafficked area on the first floor of the Davis Center, is designed to serve as a clearinghouse for students looking for hands-on learning experiences and career-oriented advice that will help them become more focused and engaged students better prepared to pursue a career or graduate school after graduation. The hub opened on Sept. 9.

“We know from several different research studies exactly what students need to do to be successful during college and after they graduate,” said Abu Rizvi, dean of UVM Honors College, who spearheaded the development of UVM’s Career Success Action Plan, which recommended creating the hub.

“But frequently, despite our best efforts, students don’t engage in these activities,” he said. “The hub is a way to bring experiential learning opportunities to an office students pass by every day, so it will be convenient for them to learn about and participate in these programs.”    

The hub is staffed on a rotating basis by eight “partners” -- campus offices or departments that offer a range of experiential learning options and career guidance. They include the Career Center, the Undergraduate Research office, the National Scholarships and Fellowship Advising office, the Student Employment Office, the Office of International Education, the Community-University Partnerships and Service-Learning program (CUPS), the Leadership and Civic Engagement program and the Food Systems Internship program.   

“Students and parents often don’t understand the connection between what you do in college and the success you have after graduation,” said Pamela Gardner, director of the Career Center. “What you study is important, but the skills and experiences you gain during your college years also play an instrumental role. The hub is a way to bring that lesson home to students, and to make it easy for them obtain those experiences."

The Career+Experience Hub is meant to complement another new element of UVM’s career preparation program, the Four-Year Career Success Plan, which administrators hope all UVM students will incorporate into their planning as they would course selection. The plan calls for students to engage in a sequence of semester-specific activities that, research shows, will increase their chances of post-graduation success. 

“The hub is the perfect companion to the Career Success Plan,” Gardner said. “The plan makes clear to students what they should be doing in each semester. The hub will give them the ‘how.’” 

All of the hub’s partners have been cross trained, so are able to advise students about the services other offices offer. The hub will serve students on a walk-in basis or by appointment with one of the partners. Trained student interns from the Career Center, as well as staff from the partner offices, will also be on hand to assist students.

In addition to opening the Career+Experience Hub and introducing the Four-Year Career Success Plan, UVM has bolstered career preparation at the university in other ways. It has added two new positions in Career Services, one focused on internships coordination, the other on outreach to employers; created a new Student Employment Office and added a staff person to direct it; boosted the number of dedicated internships it offers students; and increased curricular and other developmental programs to encourage students to explore the relationship between the academic and career interests.