by Kyle Burgess ’21
Providence College is set to unveil yet another addition to the rapidly-growing number of student facilities being erected on campus.
This facility in particular, a new center for career education and professional development, will look to assist students as they prepare themselves for life beyond the gates of PC and enter into the workforce. Funds for the building are courtesy of Jim Chirico ’80 and his wife, Bridget.
The new career center comes as phase two of the Ruane Friar Development Center project, spearheaded by generous donations from Michael A. Ruane ’71 & ’13 Hon. and his wife, Elizabeth.
Phase one of the project, the Ruane Friar Development Center, opened its doors in September of last year as a training facility for the PC Men’s Basketball Team, including two practice courts, some upgrades to Canavan Sports Medicine Center, and a student-athlete café.
This state-of-the-art career center will include a résumé bar outside of the center, where students can work with career and peer coaches to review and refine their résumés, as well as other documents or electronic profiles. It will also have interview rooms equipped for telephone and video interviews, keeping up with recruiting trends by providing students with a quiet space for internship and job interviews, even when interviewing remotely.
Student feedback has indicated that dormitory rooms do not always provide the best environment to conduct interviews, and administrators have begun this initiative in response.
There will also be a presentation room where all career-related workshops and programs will be held so that students can have a designated space that they can go to for all of their career development needs and information.
“Adding a state-of-the-art career center will provide both students and career coaches with the physical space and technological resources needed to support this work and allow us to grow even further,” explained Patti Goff, associate vice president for integrated learning and administration. “The staff in the Center for Career Education & Professional Development have been doing great work with a grassroots approach for years, and their success has been evident in increased student traffic in Slavin 108.”
Goff also noted how the Slavin 108 staff has been able to increase diversity in the employers that recruit PC students. “Increased career and networking connections with alumni, record breaking attendance at career events like the expos and the addition of a robust Professional Skills initiative, including Microsoft Excel certification, that is just taking off.”
In addition to enhancements to the Center for Career Development itself, ’64 Hall in Slavin Center is also expected to expand, along with an enclosed concourse connecting Slavin Center itself to Alumni Hall as well as Concannon Fitness Center.
Chirico, current president and CEO of Avaya, a global telecommunications and collaborative technology company, pledged $2 million to the initiative which was then matched by an anonymous donor.
“It’s important for students to have the best preparation to understand what makes them attractive to an employer, how they can be successful in their search, and the criteria to look for in their first job,” Chirico explained during a press conference revealing phase two of the project. “Bridget and I are investing in the Center for Career Education and Professional Development to prepare students to launch their careers, and to help them find careers in which they can succeed.”
The revamped career center in combination with a liberal arts education is what many, including Chirico, believe will be a major contributing factor to success for PC students following graduation.