“Is this Google?”
Student worker Nellie Barrett has heard many rave reviews from students after the summer remodel to the Career Center
on the Lincoln Park Campus (LPC), but the comparison to the tech giant was probably the most flattering. The updates, designed to increase student engagement with the university’s career advisory services and programs, are making an impression.
The new space addresses a longstanding student perception that career services are only for students in business-related fields. “The remodeled space is designed to be more accessible and welcoming to all students, regardless of major,” said Jane McGrath, associate vice president of the Career Center. “It’s intended to be eye-catching as prospective students and parents walk by—we want to make a bold statement that career outcomes are important and a degree from DePaul is a strong value proposition.”
A collaborative effort with the Office of Academic Advising Support, which shares the space, and Facility Operations, the new design features an open floor plan, sleek modern furniture, bold colors and integrated technology for a more interactive experience.
Students are greeted at one of four intake stations when they enter the office. A colorful “career road map” spans from wall to wall on one side while a graphic on the opposite office wall invites visitors to fill in blank thought bubbles in response to questions such as “Who inspires you?” Students have written messages honoring family members to thanking supportive roommates. Highboy tables with iPads are stationed throughout the room so students can provide feedback on their experience and staff can teach students how to navigate various systems including Handshake, a career services platform.
Overall, students are responding positively. “Students walk in and ask ‘is this the same place?’” said Barrett, a junior English major who began working for the Career Center this summer and previously utilized its services as a participant in the EDGE program
. “It’s so much more welcoming and a more positive space—it can be intimidating to meet with an advisor.” The updated space is designed to be more playful to eliminate some of that apprehension.
Given the initial positive feedback to the LPC location from faculty, staff and students, preliminary planning has begun to update the Loop Campus location as well.
The LPC Career Center is located in Schmitt Academic Center (SAC) 192 and is open 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. on Friday. For more information on the Career Center and its services and programs, visit the Career Center website