On a chilly Valentine’s Day afternoon, students in the Fairchild-Martindale Library reviewed their notes one last time, mentally rehearsed key talking points, and gave themselves a pep talk to shake off nerves. But none of these students were preparing for mid-term exams or class presentations.
Trading sweatshirts and backpacks for suits and resumes, they were among the first group of career-bound students meeting industry representatives in the library’s sixth floor huddle rooms that double as meeting space for interviews and other on-campus networking opportunities.
In a new partnership with Lehigh’s Center for Career & Professional Development, Library and Technology Services (LTS) opened the library’s south wing study area as satellite space for interviews with Lehigh’s industry partners. Students already meet regularly with company representatives in the Rauch Business Center, but meeting rooms there are often booked to capacity, according to Lori Kennedy, Senior Director of the Career Center.
Last month, over 40 students gathered to interview for full-time jobs, internships, or co-op positions with Lutron Electronics, or to meet with Bank of America Merrill Lynch for a “Coffee Chat,” a networking event where Lehigh alumni who work for the company discuss the ins and outs of applying for internships.
“Bringing the Career Center to FML gives students the advantage of meeting with potential employers in a familiar and comfortable space where students have already been learning and studying over the years,” said Bruce Taggart, Vice Provost for Library and Technology Services. “Plus it gives the interviewing companies an opportunity to peruse the work of students in a collaborative and creative space, peppered with marked-up whiteboards and student artwork on the walls.”
Kennedy, who oversaw the day’s interviews, said, “It was exciting for our students and industry partners to have professional space that is located in the heart beat of campus. The space worked perfectly and we received so much positive feedback from our partners.”
Nick Praedin, Director of Employer Engagement at the Career Center, said the energy in the space was amazing, as students who were in the area studying and working in groups were able to witness industry partners interviewing their Lehigh peers.
“The partnership between our office and LTS not only gave the students and employers a beautiful and dynamic space to be in, but it also helped to raise awareness among students about who we are and how our offices are working together to support student success,” he said.
“I'm always energized by observing students during their interviews,” Kennedy said. “[They] lay the foundation for a student's future while allowing students to take their Lehigh education out into the world.”
The Lehigh Center for Career & Professional Development provides career education and connections that support student success. A career coaching team works with students to help them reach their goals and potential, understand who they are and where they want to go. Visit Handshake to schedule an appointment!