New Career Center Ready to Meet Changing Student Needs
Ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Career Resources and Exploration Center

Rutgers-Newark’s career center has a new location and new features to help students find a career path and navigate a professional world changed by the pandemic.

At its space in Engelhard Hall, the Career Resources and Exploration Center, formerly called the Career Development Center, has retooled its look and mission.

Features include a boutique-style Career Closet that will help students find and keep professional attire at no cost.

“We understand the significance of professional attire in shaping a positive first impression,’’ said Toi Tyson, the center’s new executive director. “This resource ensures that financial constraints do not hinder students’  ability to present themselves confidently in various professional settings.’’

There are also meeting areas for dialogue and appointments, in addition to multi-purpose rooms for  community partnerships and collaborations.

The center has adapted to shifting student needs by placing greater emphasis on helping them pinpoint their interests and aspirations and supporting career readiness, Tyson said.

“We understand that success extends beyond traditional paths, and the center is committed to guiding students in defining their career and professional goals by assisting them with identifying their strengths, values, and identities,’’ she said.

In a social and professional landscape changed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the center has also added new programs and additional ways of interacting with students.

 “The pandemic significantly impacted students' social skills as many experienced a shift to virtual learning and reduced in-person interactions. The absence of traditional social settings like classrooms and campus events has led to challenges in the development of soft skills,’’ said Tyson. “Recognizing this, we’ve been incorporating both in-person and virtual networking events, interactive workshops, and online resources to foster social skills development that prepares them for the professional interactions that will be part of their journey towards successful careers. “