Walsh tapped as new career development coordinator


Ben Simone

Beth Walsh

Johnson State College’s new career development coordinator, Beth Walsh, is trying to get more students focused on their career development and plans after college. To that end, she has begun initiating a series of changes in the way the college approaches career counseling, beginning with increased visibility for her office.

“I’m going to be doing drop-in hours every Wednesday and Thursday so that students don’t need to make an appointment,” Walsh said. “They can come in and have a 10 or 15- minute conversation about maybe their resumé or their job search. “I’m also offering workshops; I’ve got four of them scheduled right now.”

Workshops and drop-in hours are not the only new features Walsh is adding as career development coordinator. “One of the first things I did when I took this job was change the name from Career Services to Career Development,” Walsh said, “because it’s more about helping students develop their career paths and not about providing services.”

Walsh is also starting off the semester by setting up a career fair on March 18 that will work to recruit student for internships and jobs, as well as several workshops on LinkedIn and resumé building.

Walsh may be new to working at Johnson, but for a brief time she was a student here as well. Walsh has experience as a graphic designer, preschool teacher, has a bachelor’s in sociology, and a master’s in higher education student affairs administration at UVM, where she worked for nine years. At UVM she worked as a research assistant and office manager in psychiatry before working in career services when finishing her masters.

However, Walsh has had a connection with Johnson State College throughout her life, with both her mother and sister graduating from Johnson. “I have this real affection for Johnson State College,” Walsh said, “and am really excited about working with the students here.”

Part of the process in hiring a new career development coordinator involved changing the dynamics of the job itself. “That position used to be part of the department that I oversee,” said Sara Kinerson, director of the advising and career center. “This has been re-visioned and reenergized and moved to the dean of students for supervision; he oversaw the process for searching and hiring for that position.”

Kinerson, who was also part of the search committee, said that they were looking for someone who not only focused on vital parts of the job such as resumé building and job searching, but also focused on connecting with first-year students through seniors to get students focused on the path to careers after college.

So far Walsh is trying just that, and she wants to do more to help students, and faculty, get involved in career development. Some of the changes that Walsh is making involve moving students online to work on their career development. “I want to get more help for students on the portal,” Walsh said, “and I’m working with communications to get access to that.” Walsh hopes to put all links in one place so students can have easy access to fellowships, grad schools, and other related resources.

Walsh also hopes to start using the Johnson State Facebook page to post links and reminders for students. She also wants to connect with alumni as well as faculty and staff to create a Johnson State Career Development LinkedIn page.

Although it’s only been a few weeks since the beginning of her work here, Walsh says she has already succeeded in connecting with students and discussing job searching and majors. She wants to remind students not to forget about career development throughout their college careers. “Do not wait until your last semester to write a resumé, or think about your career path,” she advised. “There are so many things you need to do to make the best out of this opportunity.”