When classes resume on August 22, University of Florida students will find that the university’s nationally recognized career center has some news. Following a 14-month renovation and expansion, the former Career Resource Center has a new name, the Career Connections Center, along with a renovated and expanded facility in the J. Wayne Reitz Union.
The center, which serves the over 55,000 UF students and alumni, went through an extensive rebranding and renovation process. The new location, double the size of the previous one at 28,940 square feet, has many features including four engagement centers with virtual capabilities so that students can access events online and virtual workshops can take place. The space includes several interview rooms for students, four of which have the technology that allows for virtual interviews. Study nooks are also available for students who need a place to study individually or in groups. Additionally, the The Molm Family Gator Career Closet, UF’s lending closet where students can borrow professional clothing free of charge, has moved from the Dean of Students office to the career center. “Our space, from the engagement centers to the new Molm Family Gator Career Closet, truly represents what we want to communicate to students, it’s a facility with an intentional function – to bridge inspiration to action. It’s a place where we will inspire connections to meaningful possibilities, relationships and experiences,” said Ja’Net Glover, the senior director for career services.
Though the name change is small, shifting from the word resource to connections, communicates impact the staff have on students’ lives. “The cornerstone of what we do is to provide connections for our students, whether it’s helping the student connect to their interests and values or connecting them to employers for internships and careers, those connection points are at the heart at what we do,” said Glover. The career center which provides students with career education and guidance to enrich their college experience and prepare them for life beyond college, selected a name that better aligns with its mission to “educate and create connections for the University of Florida community in order to facilitate the holistic career development of students.” While there is a new location and name, the center has the same friendly staff, quality assistance and legacy.
The center marked its 65th year of career services on campus on July 1. To celebrate this anniversary and all that is new, the Career Connections Center will hold several events later this fall including a block party on August 23 from 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. for students, faculty and staff, and an official ribbon cutting ceremony on September 18 to celebrate the opening of the newly renovated space. The Ribbon Cutting, which is open to the public, will consist of a program with tours of the building to follow. “This is an exciting time for career services on our campus. Sixty-five years ago, we started out with one person at a spare desk in Tigert Hall, now we have close to 30,000 square feet of space to serve the campus community. It’s an honor to provide this service on campus for students, and we’re already moving forward with the vision for this next era. This fall the team and I will host listening tours to find out what students want for their career center, and how they can be an integral part of the vision,” said Glover.
Glover, who previously served as interim director of the center, was appointed as the senior director in March. She led the department through the $9.6 million expansion of the center while working to enhance the center’s career services.