AUBURN – As employers face cutbacks during tough economic times, Auburn University’s College of Business has opened a new facility to give its students an edge in landing that first job.
The college opened a 5,400-square-foot Office of Professional and Career Development last fall to allow students to interview onsite or through video conferencing with companies around the country.
“We are very excited about our facility and the assistance we offer business students,” said Jimmy Lawrence, the office’s executive director. “We help students with career development, as well as with their professional development as it relates to choosing majors, choosing careers, interviewing for internships and searching for jobs.”
The facility is located in a remodeled, first-floor section of the College of Business Building and has eight interview rooms sponsored by local and national businesses, a conference room for group interviews and an employer conference room where visiting employers can debrief at the end of the day.
A video conferencing system allows recruiters the option of interviewing Auburn students without having to spend travel dollars.
“Video interviews are a great way for our students to talk with employers, who otherwise might not travel to Auburn,” Lawrence said. “Students can broaden their geographic area to reach more employers, while companies can save money and time on initial rounds of interviews. Afterward, the company might arrange for the student to visit its headquarters.”
Two resource areas are available for undergraduate and graduate students to research potential employers. A lounge and open space allows for employers and students to interact and have presentations alike.
“Former Dean Paul Bobrowski had the idea in 2007 to expand career services offerings in the College of Business,” Lawrence said, “and Dean Bill Hardgrave has been a champion of the office since joining Auburn in 2010.
“Our vision is to continue to propel the college upward among the most elite business schools regionally and establish ourselves as a business school targeted nationally by employers seeking our talented students.”
Auburn officials visited and studied business career centers at Indiana University, Purdue University and the University of Kentucky while formulating plans for construction. “We used ideas from each school and incorporated them into our large, first-floor area,” Lawrence said. “The result was a very functional, high-tech facility in a convenient location for students and recruiters.”
Funding for Auburn’s business career office is generated from a student professional fee and support from organizations and individuals.
The donors include Aflac; AT&T; Deloitte; Ernst and Young; KPMG; David A. Luck of ABC Supply; the Richard P. Nicholas family; State Farm Insurance; Alabama Power Company; Carr, Riggs and Ingram CPAs and Advisors; Andrew and Kayla Gannon of EDSCO Fasteners Inc.; Gifford Hillegass and Ingwersen LLP, certified public accountants and advisors; Momma Goldberg’s Deli; PricewaterhouseCoopers; and Thomas W. and Patricia M. Tripp.
Lawrence says the office continues to work closely with the university’s Career Center in Mary Martin Hall.
“The Auburn University Career Center has been a great partner with our Office of Professional and Career Development in the College of Business,” Lawrence said. “We have worked together in some unique ways to share resources and ideas during these tough economic times.”
Employers interested in recruiting at Auburn may contact Lawrence at (334) 844-7203 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Students enrolled in a College of Business academic program may stop by 101 College of Business Building or call (334) 844-7203 for more information about the Office of Professional and Career Development. The website is http://business.auburn.edu/opcd.
A video segment and photographs are available on the Auburn University Office of Communications and Marketing website, http://ocm.auburn.edu/featured_story/business_career_center.html.
(Written by Charles Martin and Katie Horn.)