New CareerZone opens Wednesday

CareerZone staff are looking forward to opening doors — both literally and figuratively — for those who enter their new space.

The important pillar of the University’s Co-op, Career and Experiential Education unit has recently found a new home attached to Market Hall. And with the new location comes the ability to more comprehensively partner with students.

“The philosophy behind what we are doing in this space has changed and how we use the space has transformed as well,” said Stephanie Harper, Brock’s Associate Director of Career Education. “Preparing our students for their careers requires more than a good resumé, and our role is to help them understand their skills, navigate options, build their network and make informed choices.”

Students will notice a shift away from transaction-based services to a partnership that helps them navigate their career and facilitates conversation.

The physical and operational changes Harper refers to will be highlighted at the CareerZone launch and open house Wednesday, Jan. 10.

The event will feature speeches from Gervan Fearon, the University’s President and Vice-Chancellor, and Anna Lathrop, Brock’s Vice-Provost, Teaching, Learning and Student Success, as well as a keynote address delivered by Brien Convery, Director, Early Talent Acquisition, Attraction and Engagement at RBC.

Hosting industry partners like Convery highlights an important addition in the functionality of the new space.

“We have never had a dedicated in-house location to host outside employers,” said Harper. “Now employers like RBC can use CareerZone to have career conversations and drop-in sessions with students. The movable furniture allows us to offer events on campus in smaller formats, where students are already coming to ask the type of questions employers are ready to answer.”

Cara Krezek, Brock’s Director of Co-op, Career and Experiential Education, reflected on how far CareerZone has come since it was launched as a website in 2010. The first home of CareerZone, previously called the Career Resource Centre, was opened in a much smaller space in the James A. Gibson Library before moving to the current location.

“We loved the idea of bringing CareerZone to life as a physical space where students can have personal interactions and coaching with a brand they are familiar with,” said Krezek. “Having CareerZone in a central area where students can have career chats, learn how to convey their skills and become more aware of opportunities available to them has reinforced Brock’s commitment to intertwine career conversations with the student experience.”

The new space features couches for idea sharing and dedicated workspaces for students to complete their career-related documents. Also, there are conversation pods where students and staff can chat in a more one-on-one environment about their careers.

During the event, CareerZone’s student and full-time staff will be on hand to guide visitors through the space and to answer questions about the many services the team provides, including career and job search coaching, mock interviews, professional networking, career assessments and resumé help.

In addition to students and employers, Harper also encourages members of Brock’s departments and Faculties to explore the renovated area.

“Drop in to talk about ways we can support you and your students,” she said. “Know that you have a resource in us. If you or your department is in a position to hire students, we can help.”

With the grand opening ready to go, Harper is eager to get services rolling.

“We can’t wait to celebrate our grand opening with the entire Brock community and to continue supporting our students, employers and campus partners in this new space,” she said.

The CareerZone launch event takes place Wednesday, Jan. 10 in the new location at the south end of Market Hall. Speeches will commence at 11 a.m. with tours and a door prize draw to follow.

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