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Understaffed CDO hires director

By Lily Jamaludin

In April 2011, Mark Peltz will take over as the Director of Grinnell College’s Career Development Office.

The Career Development Office (CDO) is a place that all Grinnell students will most likely visit at least once in their college careers—the stepping-stone between college and the real world. The CDO is still in transition from the Oct. 2009 resignation of the former Director of the CDO Kathleen Powell.

Peltz, who completed a master’s degree at Miami University, has experience working in a liberal arts setting. He served as Assistant Dean and Director of the Career Center of Luther College since 2003, both overseeing the office and actively advising students.

“Given his experience at Luther, I expect he’ll have an easier time transitioning to our community than others might, and from my time with him I think he’ll be a great fit. He’s also involved with ICoRN and SLAC, which are consortiums Grinnell is already a member of,” said Student Government Association (SGA) Vice President of Student Affairs Holden Bale, a member of the search committee that chose Peltz.

The CDO is currently understaffed, according to Bale and Peltz, which may limit its ability to help students.

“[The CDO] has been short-staffed for some time, and will continue to be even more so until I arrive in April, and that needs to be addressed,” Peltz said.

Peltz’s vision for the CDO is to make it a premier career development program, to match the status of Grinnell College being a premier institution.
“In short, my goal is pretty simple: to get the CDO hitting on all cylinders,” he said.

One improvement Peltz plans to make regards the use of technology and deepening connections with Grinnell’s alumni network.
“I look forward to evaluating and more fully developing our marketing materials, including the web site. I am also eager to work with the CDO team in broadening our relationships with alumni, employers and graduate schools,” Peitz said.
Bale shared Peltz’s optimism.

“Something I expect from [Peltz], and a change that’s going to be occurring in a lot of areas at the college over the next few years, is a move to tap into our alumni network more actively than we have historically,” Bale said. “Hopefully that will mean positive things for career development on campus.”

Peltz also plans to ensure that the program is meeting the needs of the students and ensuring that students’ goals are met.

“We need to ensure our program offerings are meeting the needs of the students,” Peltz said. “The net of these efforts will ensure Grinnell students possess the knowledge, skills, and experiences to compete once they graduate. Whether a student aspires to work in consulting or environmental policy, the purpose of career development is to help students clarify their goals and architect a road map to get them there. Ultimately, that is our goal and I have no doubt the current CDO team is eager, willing, and capable to deliver on this mission.”

CDO staff is anticipating Peltz’s arrival on campus.

“We’re really excited for a couple of reasons,” said CDO Career Counselor Abby Trout. “He’s got a lot of energy and a lot of good ideas to motivate us. He likes to engage with students…helping them develop. He’s very personable and would be able to reach out seamlessly to people in this office.”

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