Tag: Career Services

Dean selected to lead Center for Career, Life and Community Engagement

Michael O’Connor has been selected as the new Riaz Waraich Dean of Lawrence University’s Center for Career, Life and Community Engagement.

Currently the Director of Career Exploration at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, O’Connor will fill the newly endowed deanship. It’s supported by a $2.5 million gift from J. Thomas Hurvis ’60 that was announced in November at the launch of Lawrence’s $220 million Be the Light! Campaign.

Portrait of Michael O'Connor
Michael O’Connor

O’Connor will begin his new role May 1, overseeing a revamped and reenergized office that prepares students for life after Lawrence, develops and sustains networking connections with alumni near and far, assists in fellowship opportunities and enhances career connections in the community. He will report to Christopher Card, Vice President for Student Life.

For O’Connor, the opportunity to put into play the recommendations that came from the Task Force on Life After Lawrence – the final report was released in May 2018 – was too good to pass up. He praised President Mark Burstein’s leadership, saying the enhanced commitment to career services for all Lawrence students ties in well with other initiatives designed to make Lawrence more accessible and increasingly responsive to student needs.

“I love the strategic direction the school is going under Mark’s leadership,” O’Connor said. “I love how the college is smart for investing in its core strengths, and raising its national profile while increasing affordability/accessibility and leveraging its unique learning environment.

“I love the integration of fellowships, community engagements, and career services under CLCE, and see limitless potential for connecting our broader mission to both the broader Lawrence and Appleton communities.”

Card said O’Connor’s appointment “is the culmination of a national search for a distinguished professional to lead the center.”

O’Connor comes to the Riaz Waraich Deanship following more than five years as director of the Career Exploration program that is part of the Career Center at Williams College. He is second in command at the Career Center, and spent seven months as its interim director in 2015-16.

He previously served as director of the Office of Career Planning at Sage Colleges in New York, and worked in career services at Union College in New York and Hiram College in Ohio.

He has a bachelor’s of arts degree with a major in psychology from the University of Connecticut and a master’s of arts and social sciences degree from Binghamton University with a concentration in student affairs and diversity.

Associate Professor of History Monica Rico, who was a member of the Lawrence search committee, said she was impressed not only with O’Connor’s wide-ranging work with students but also his collaborations with faculty.

“Mike has a proven record of developing, implementing, and refining approaches to post-graduate life that connect with students at all phases of their college experience,” Rico said. “He’s emerging as a nationally known expert on career planning for liberal arts students.”

Anne Jones, who has served as the interim dean of the CLCE for the past year, will continue in that role until O’Connor arrives in May.

“I want to acknowledge the amazing work by Anne Jones, who has led that department with distinction since February of last year,” Card said.

The deanship is named after Hurvis’ business partner, Riaz Waraich, as recognition of how quality partnerships are often key to career success.

That’s a theme O’Connor is looking to build on in his new role.

“I loved the thoughtful design of the position and fabulous work by the Life After Lawrence Task Force,” he said. “I think the CLCE team is poised for big things.”

Lawrence Awarded $150,000 Grant to Expand Student Internship Opportunities

Career-Center-Internship-Grant__newsblog
A $150,000 Career Ready Internship grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation will support approximately 50 new, paid internships opportunities during the 2014-15 academic year for Lawrence juniors and seniors who qualify for need-based financial aid.

More Lawrence University students will graduate with a competitive edge thanks to a $150,000 Career Ready Internship grant the college has received from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation for the 2014-2015 academic year.

The grant, part of Great Lakes’ Career Ready Internship program, will support an estimated 51 new, paid internships or the conversion of currently unpaid internships into paid ones for Lawrence juniors and seniors who qualify for need-based financial aid.

This is the second internship grant Lawrence has received from Great Lakes. It was awarded a $125,000 grant for a pilot program during the 2013-14 academic year.

The grant will provide opportunities for all students to work in their field of study while still in college, not just those who can afford to go without a salary. When students are unable to participate in an internship for financial reasons, they miss out on invaluable, real-world experience that can make them more competitive in the job market after graduation.

“The Career Services team is excited to help level the playing field by offering financial assistance to students who participate in unpaid internships,” said Patricia Plutz, Lawrence’s internship coordinator. “Nonprofit organizations benefit greatly from the enthusiasm provided by our students who are eager to make a difference. Lawrence is pleased to partner with employers to provide enriching experiential learning opportunities.”

Lawrence’s current internship program provides students numerous resources for understanding, exploring and securing internships with small nonprofits, local businesses, large corporations and government agencies.

“Internships 101” teaches students about internship search tools, resources and the support provided by Career Services. Think Globally Explore Locally site visits offer students on-site glimpses into the workplace while promoting the Fox Valley area as a microcosm of the national and global job market. Employer-led information and tabling sessions provide students with important data about different organizations, including currently or upcoming open positions.

Annual career trips to larger cities around the Midwest expose students to organizations within fields of study and help build relationships with employers, especially alumni employers. Shadowing and networking opportunities during academic breaks enable students to “jump start” an internship or test out an organization or career field before engaging in a full internship.

Lawrence is one of 40 colleges and universities across Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio and Minnesota to receive some of the $5.2 million in Career Ready Internship grant funds awarded by Great Lakes.

“Our Career Ready Internship grants provide college students real-world experience in their fields of study and a better chance at competing for jobs after graduation,” said Richard D. George, Great Lakes’ president and chief executive officer. “This program has the added benefit of developing relationships of lasting value between colleges and employers. We look forward to seeing the impact Lawrence can have on helping more students graduate ready for success in the workforce.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

About Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation
Knowing that education has the power to change lives for the better, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates helps millions of students pay for college and repay their student loans. Through Community Investments, Great Lakes leads initiatives and funds programs that help students from traditionally underserved backgrounds start and complete a two- or four-year degree or other credential.