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CLS offers new programs

Gabriela Roznawska

A new photo booth, an online career advancement platform, an alum speed-dating-like event: the Center for Careers, Life, and Service (CLS) is expanding its programming to further accommodate students’ needs and career development.

In the past, the CLS has offered “Photo Booth” events a few times a year, where students can get professional headshots taken. Now the CLS, in partnership with the Office of Communications and Marketing, will be changing the program, said Mark Peltz, Daniel and Patricia Jipp Finkelman dean of careers, life and service.

Peltz said that the CLS is acquiring an Iris Booth, a touchless photo booth where students, faculty and staff can get their headshots taken at no extra cost. Current plans indicate the booth will be located on the second floor of the John Chrystal Center, and is expected to arrive in late October, available for use during the CLS’s hours of operation, he said.

Sarah Barks, senior director of the STEM career community at CLS, wrote in an email to the S&B that they noticed that students applying for technology positions were struggling with technical interviews –– one of the components of the hiring process that tests candidates’ technical skills. As a result, the CLS invested in a program called Exponent to adapt to students’ needs, said Peltz.

Exponent is an online platform that offers courses on software development, product management, data science and other fields. The program also offers mock interviews, a job referral platform, detailed guides on companies’ hiring process and a list of interview questions recently asked by top-tier tech companies. This program is currently available for students.

“Students hear a lot about building their network … I think, to a lot of college students, it’s really opaque as to how to go about building one’s network, and it can seem very daunting,” said Peltz. That is why the CLS has invested in programs that will help students connect with alumni, he said.

Students hear a lot about building their network … I think, to a lot of college students, it’s really opaque as to how to go about building one’s network, and it can seem very daunting.

— Mark Peltz, Daniel and Patricia Jipp Finkelman dean of careers, life and service

The Student-Alum Virtual Meetups work like an online speed dating event in which students and alumni meet for an hour, during which students switch to a new alum and vice versa every 10 minutes, Peltz said. At the end, students receive the information of everyone they met with to reach out, should they desire, he said. There will be several sessions throughout the year, each with alumni in different industries.

The CLS will also be offering MentorGrinnell, a program where students and alumni are matched based on their mutual career interests and will meet online one hour a week for five weeks allowing students and alumni to have more in-depth conversations, said Peltz.

Additionally, Chad Berman, Lawrence S. Pidgeon director, education professions career community, is running a mental health series this fall where students will be exposed to different fields within the mental health industry, Peltz said.

Lastly, the CLS is replacing the Grinnell Prize program, in which the College recognizes and presents an award to those innovators who have made significant contributions to social justice, Peltz said. The new program, Social Innovator in Residence, will bring an innovator to the College to host workshops and potentially teach a course, he said. 

The CLS has just closed the application for the position and will be conducting interviews throughout the fall semester and is working to implement the program for the start of the 2024-2025 academic year, wrote Susan Sanning, associate dean and director of service & social innovation, in an email to the S&B.

“We are looking for change-makers who not only address the immediate needs created by injustice, but who are also addressing the underlying structures, values and mental modes that undergird the issue they are trying to transform,” wrote Sanning.

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About the Contributors
Jandry Perez Garcia
Jandry Perez Garcia, News Editor
Jandry is a fourth-year economics student. He loves to cook, especially crepes, which he can be found making in Younker kitchen.
Gabriela Roznawska
Gabriela Roznawska, Graphic Designer
Gabriela Rożnawska is a second-year student majoring in Computer Science, Psychology and concentrating in Linguistics from Krakow, Poland. She is likely to be spotted longboarding around town and, if stopped, would be delighted to discuss tornados, planes, rodents and plans for an upcoming multi-city trip.
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