“I’ve come full circle,” says Kimberly Betz ’91, the new director of Carleton’s Career Center. Betz, who was a program coordinator and an associate director in the Career Center from 1996 to 2000, served previously as director of internships at Oberlin College and, after that, as director of career development at St. Catherine University in St. Paul.
One of Betz’s immediate objectives is to determine how to integrate career planning into all four years of the Carleton experience. “We’re not trying to pigeonhole students when they arrive on campus, but I don’t want them to scramble because they waited until after comps to think about their careers,” she says. “Students need opportunities to reflect on their interests and values, to explore career options, to understand what to expect in a work setting, and to translate what they’ve learned at Carleton into skills that will appeal to a prospective employer.”
To achieve this goal, Betz will work with faculty advisers to expand the existing Carleton network that connects students with alumni and parents for career planning, internships, and informational interviews. She also wants to locate more internships in Northfield and the Twin Cities, and to secure funding options for students who take unpaid or low-paying summer internships, but still need a source of income.
“I’m looking for opportunities that allow students to apply the skills they’re learning, complete a project, and get feedback,” says Betz. “This helps them decide if it’s a field they want to pursue after they graduate, and lets them say to an employer, ‘I’ve received a phenomenal education and obtained real-world experience.’ ”