DePaul University Newsline > Sections > That’s My Job > Meet Brenda Williams: Creating career path connections for students
By Rachel Wojnicki /
February 25, 2022 /
Posted in: THAT'S MY JOB /
“My background has always been in working with individuals to help them transform and evolve," Williams says. “I'm excited to continue that work in my new role with the Career Center."
Through advising, programming, recruiting events and networking to help build social capital, DePaul's Career Center supports students through every step of the career development process.
“One of the most fulfilling parts of my job is working with students and seeing them come alive when they find something they're truly interested in," Williams says. “But I also love working with my colleagues. There is nothing better than collaborating on projects with people just as passionate as you."
While traditional Career Center events, such as quarterly career fairs, have returned to campus, Williams notes the center's programming has permanently evolved with lessons learned throughout the pandemic.
“Like most departments, we pivoted to provide our services to students and had to get creative on how to deliver our programming virtually," she says. “However, because of that pivoting, more students were able to make advising appointments with us, more students attended our virtual events and our touch points expanded beyond our region to the national level – employers from around the country are now able to meet with Blue Demons. The biggest lesson learned –our 'pandemic plus'—is that we needed to be hybrid."
Williams also explained that in response to the pandemic, the center has incorporated more wellness elements into its programming, such as providing resources on handling job search stress and hosting sessions where students can decompress, debrief and discuss their anxieties about the career search process.
Creative hybrid and wellness-focused programming are not the only items on Williams' priority list for the center moving forward. She also hopes to increase the number of students who utilize Career Center services.
“Nationally –pre-pandemic –we know only about 30% of students utilized collegiate career center services," she explains. “While our engagement is higher, my big hope is for us to continually increase our reach at DePaul. Let's create models with co-curricular units, work with career advocates across divisions and integrate assignments into classes. I want to go outward and more deeply integrate what we do into the campus ecosystem."
Learn more about the Career Center and its resources online.