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Eller opens $5 million professional development center

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Carmen Valencia and Carmen Valencia and Carmen Valencia and Carmen Valencia | The Daily Wildcat The new Karl and Stevie Eller Professional Development Center was unveiled at the Eller Colege of Management's career expo. The $5 million center was completly funded by private donors.

The Eller College of Management unveiled the new Karl and Stevie Eller Professional Development Center at their annual fall career expo on Monday Sept. 19. 

Production for the center began about three years ago when the Eller Student Council proposed a lower-division fee for the expansion of their professional development resources. Once approved, the new hiring of career coaches and expansion of physical space for the resource center moved forward. 

This is Eller’s first capital project in 24 years and the project was funded completely through private donations.

At the career expo, there were 64 employers interviewing and speaking to hundreds of business students.

“I really got to meet a variety of companies that I wouldn’t have even thought of if I would not have attended,” said Amanda Emery, a marketing senior. “It’s something I highly recommend to people. It’s very important to come and meet employers—without it you really wouldn’t know what you’re getting yourself into.”

RELATED: Eller moves up in rankings, MIS No. 1 in the country

In order to aid in student success, the 13,000-square-foot PDC spans two floors within Eller and contains offices, interview rooms and seminar rooms where students can rent to work and collaborate together, in addition to having office hours where students can walk in and get help.

The PDC went from having only two staff members to 12—one career coach for each major. 

“So your finance career coach is sitting right next to your finance adviser and they work together as a team to ensure both academic and career success for the student,” said Sarah Diaz, professional development center director. “Part of the story that we tell is: It used to be when you would see a student wearing a suit you would ask, ‘oh what presentation do you have today?’, because that’s what they would dress up for. And now that we have the PDC here, you walk around and you see students in suits and you ask, ‘oh who are you interviewing with today?’—so it’s just kind of a shift in culture.”

Eller also rebuilt its eSMS student portal website and made it into a mobile app, according to Diaz. 

Diaz said once up and running, the app will allow to schedule appointments, apply for jobs and internships and receive notifications for the events they RSVP’d for on the app.

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“We are at 87 percent in career outcomes and we have seen a growth of 14 percent since we hired our career coaches three years ago,” Diaz said. “I really am looking to see continuing upward trends, but I would like to see better placement of students—which we are seeing.”

Diaz said that students are not only leaving with more job offers, but now students are getting new opportunities that the college has not seen before. 

 “I think it’s one of the best resources you can get in a school,” said Jack Trump, marketing senior and PDC associate. “Especially with seeing all of these recruiters come in and working with them directly, I know what they are looking for so I can kind of be a liaison in a fun way to help students get the jobs that they want.”

Trump said he will help students who come into the center with their cover letters and resumes for professional admission and also assist students in need of help with jobs or internships. 

Trump said he hopes he can be of help to those who use the center, just like others helped him when he was a freshman and sophomore.

“I think that our students will be tremendous sales people, not only in just terms of selling in a job but selling themselves, selling their personal brand,” Trump said. “I think it is just as important as anything else to have the confidence to say ‘I’m here and I know what I am doing.’ That’s what the PDC gives to students.”


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