Spring is known to be the start of new beginnings. With that in mind, we wanted to get to know the new Director at The University of Delaware’s Career Services Center, Nathan Elton. Here’s what we discovered:
1.) What does a typical work day look like for you?
I usually arrive a bit before 8:00am and spend about 30 minutes answering email and planning my day. From there I spend most of my time in meetings, checking in with staff, working on projects and following up on email. Good health is important to me, so over lunch I typically head to The Bob for some exercise. My day in the office usually ends between 5:30-6:00pm unless I have an evening program, but then I usually put in at least another hour of work each night following up on email or working on projects.
2.) What is your favorite part of being the director of the Career Services Center?
Collaborating with CSC staff and partners across campus on initiatives that support the career development, career preparation and the ultimate launch of our students in to employment and graduate school opportunities. I also love to hear student success stories – whether it is a student landing an internship experience with a great employer or figuring out what they want to do after graduation after some helpful networking conversations.
3.) We need to know, what is your favorite coffee/tea to get from the break room?
Green Mountain Dark Magic! I really like dark coffee, and would drink expresso each morning if I had the patience to make it for myself.
4.) Where did you work prior to University of Delaware?
Before UD I was the Director of the Center for Career Development at Davidson College in North Carolina. Davidson is a selective liberal arts college similar to schools in the Mid-Atlantic such as Swarthmore and Haverford. My colleagues and I were able to launch some pretty innovative programs and I was integrated in to every area of the office: career advising, program development, and employer relations. It was an excellent experience and prepared me well for my role at UD. I have also worked for Oberlin College, Villanova University, Penn State and MIT, and my very first job was with a landscaping company at the age of 14.
5.) If you could give any advice to college students, what would it be?
Make the most of your UD experience. Keep your eyes open and engaging in a variety of interesting and beneficial activities such lectures, service, student organizations, study abroad, etc. Talk to people – faculty, campus speakers, alumni, career advisers, supervisors, people sitting next to you on airplanes. Gather advice and make connections. You never know when a door will open through someone you have met along the way. Pursue summer and academic year internships. They are critical experiences that are valued by employers and graduate programs, and will help you develop skills and knowledge that will be beneficial in the work place.
6.) What do you hope to achieve during your time here?
- Employers – We will expand and diversify our internship and entry-level job opportunities for students. We organize 15 career fairs and employer networking nights, and in 2014-2015 we posted close to 7,000 jobs and internships in Handshake. One new initiative we have launched through a partnership with Development and Alumni Relations is called the Winter/Spring 2016 UD Internship & Job Drive. Similar to an annual fund drive, our goal is to “raise” over 500 new internship and full-time job opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students by the end of the semester through our dedicated alumni, parent and friend of UD communities.
- Faculty and Students – We will continue to expand our connections with academic departments and student organizations, and will look for new and innovative ways to involve employers and alumni in programs that we create with faculty and student leaders. Partnering with these communities along with deans, academic advisors, and various student life office will allow up to offer more specialized services based on academic and industry based interests.
- Professionals and Experiences – In order to provide students with direct connections with professionals, we will invest in new networking initiatives and in campus and city-based experiential programming. For example, in Spring/Summer 2016 we will launch a new online platform that connects students with UD alumni and parents for career conversations, résumé critiques and mock interviews. We will also launch more industry based “boot camps” where alumni and employers will help our students prepare for careers in the arts, media, consulting, tech sectors, to name a few.