While searching for a candidate to fill a job with the goal of helping others find jobs may sound like an oxymoron, this is the situation that Baldwin Wallace University finds itself in as the university continues its search for a new Director of Career Services.
When former Director of Career Services, Carmen Castro-Rivera, took a position at Baldwin Wallace University’s School of Business as Director of Graduate Business Admissions, Beth Ehrbar, former Assistant Director of Career Services, took over as the interim Director of Career Services.
“She [Castro-Rivera] was the director for about 10 years,” said Ehrbar. “She came to BW originally working in Admissions and her previous career was in MBA Recruitment at Purdue University and Bowling Green State University. She’s a well-respected colleague and we’re lucky that she’s still at BW.”
Since Castro-Rivera’s departure, Baldwin Wallace University has started its search for a new Director of Career Services. According to Ehrbar, the search process began at the beginning of the new year and applications were accepted until Feb 8.
Ehrbar said that one of her responsibilities as interim Director of Career Services was to create a search committee for the new director. Among this committee includes John DiGennaro, Director of Library Services; Ven Ochaya, a faculty member in the School of Business; Christy Walkuski, Director of the Brain Center for Community Engagement; Nancy Jirousek, Director of Adult, Transfer, and Military Services; and Career Advisor, Elizabeth Wilson. Ehrbar describes the members of the search committee as “wonderful and well-rounded.”
Baldwin Wallace University is currently in the midst of the search as, according to Ehrbar, the applications have been reviewed and the interview process for the first round of candidates is beginning. Ehrbar said that the goal is to have a new director by April in order to “maintain services and momentum.”
According to Ehrbar, the Director of Career Services position has a multitude of responsibilities.
“Certainly [the Director of Career Services position] is an administrative role. A director is setting a strategic vision and goals for the group as well as managing a team of nine to ten people. A director is also representing the university in meetings with deans, other directors, faculty members, and perspective students and their parents,” said Ehrbar. “They also develop programs based on student’s needs and is typically an advisor and professor as well.”
Ehrbar says that a Director of Career Services must be in touch with the needs of students. Due to the vast amount of responsibilities required of a Director of Career Services, Ehrbar says that a person seeking this position must exemplify the skills of leadership and adaptability.
“This is a role that wears a lot of different hats,” said Ehrbar. “So as a teacher, career advisor, and student advocate, it is required that one has that passion for working with students.”
Ehrbar also says that this role must be willing to always be adaptable and be willing to look at data to figure out whether or not a program is truly beneficial for students. The Director of Career Services must be willing to adjust and continuously change their programs.
An additional component that Baldwin Wallace University must take into account when hiring a new Director of Career Services is the upcoming strategic planning process. According to Ehrbar, Baldwin Wallace University’s strategic planning process, which is a process utilized to set the vision and goals for the university, is up for review with the Board of Trustees.
“With the new strategic plan getting put into place, all of the leaders on campus will really have a new strategic vision which may require them to adjust their priorities,” said Ehrbar.
While the new strategic plan is an adjustment for Career Services, Ehrbar said that Career Services has seen many changes within her time as assistant director.
Ehrbar said that Career Services has made many adjustments due to technology advancements and the inclusion of Handshake, an application utilized to connect students with job opportunities. There have also been several adjustments made in regards to the connection between Career Services and Baldwin Wallace University faculty to fulfill the needs of students, said Ehrbar.
According to Ehrbar, the overall goal of Career Services is to ensure that students are “confident and clear” in their job search after leaving Baldwin Wallace University.
Ehrbar said, “We [Career Services] really just want to see our students be able to self-direct and confidently navigate themselves through multiple career changes within their lifetime.”