Rebekah Paré (M.A.'00, German; M.A.'03, Musicology), leader of the L&S Career Initiative since 2013, has been named executive director of the newly-merged L&S Career Initiative and Career Services in the College of Letters & Science.
"Rebekah was a key partner in planning and building sustainable, successful strategies during the first two years of the L&S Career Initiative," said L&S Dean John Karl Scholz. "Her leadership is critical to the success of a new model of integrated career development across the College of Letters & Science."
Scholz launched the L&S Career Initiative to help UW-Madison liberal arts students develop professional networks by establishing connections with alumni and employers; identify their strengths and interests; and think beyond their degrees much earlier in their college experiences.
Under Paré’s leadership, early achievements of the L&S Career Initiative include the design and delivery of an academic course focused on career education open to all L&S second-year students; establishing partnerships with companies such as American Family Insurance, Covance, Qualtrics, and others; the opening of Career Kickstart — a new, career-themed residential learning community in Ogg Hall; the completion of two career outcomes surveys of 8,500 L&S alumni; and increased alumni engagement in mentoring and networking opportunities with students.
In addition to Paré’s appointment, Scholz also announced the unification of the current L&S Career Services with the L&S Career Initiative. Merging the two offices will integrate the broad-based goals of the L&S Career Initiative with the direct delivery of career services to students that has long been the strength of L&S Career Services.
"This new model will leverage the strengths of both units and allow us to transform the ways in which we deliver services to prepare students for the 21st-century workplace," says Paré. "By combining the L&S Career Initiative and L&S Career Services, we can work more effectively and proactively with employers, engage more strategically with alumni, and launch new services and resources for faculty and advisors.
"We are moving toward a coordinated model that not only builds on the expertise of our staff in Career Services, but engages of all members of the college, as well as our alumni, in career development for our students."
Career Services will continue to deliver specific services to students such as career advising, employer site visits, resume building, and more. The merger will create a more seamless partnership, according to Paré and Scholz, and "allow us to take the L&S Career Initiative to the next level."
The goal, says Scholz, is to create a new systemic approach to helping students achieve rewarding careers and lead satisfying lives.
"Our efforts will not only create new, valuable opportunities for all L&S students, but also provide a new model of integrated career preparation for large, public research universities around the country," says Scholz.