Career Center Aims to 'Ramplify' DEI Efforts
The Center for Career Equity, Development & Success has seen exciting changes over the past two years: a new name, new leadership, and a quadrupling of staff size with an energetic team who are visibly passionate about two of Suffolk’s core missions: career readiness education and diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Now the center has launched one more innovation: a new podcast, Ramplify, created to support students and alumni in areas of career exploration, planning and performance at all levels.
“Career readiness is central to everything we do … It’s essential to the student experience,” said President Marisa Kelly in an interview with the center’s executive director, Dave Merry, for the broadcast’s inaugural episode.
Merry co-hosted the show with new Career Center Director Adesuwa Igbineweka, who works directly with recruiters and companies looking to improve their processes for attracting more diverse candidates.
Integrating DEI efforts into career education, and integrating those efforts in every aspect of the educational experience is key to Suffolk’s mission and value proposition, said Kelly.
“The center is really a microcosm of the university,” she said.
Jenny Joseph-Hayle, an associate director of the Career Center, said she hoped the new podcast would become a valuable tool for reaching alumni and community members who left campus long ago. “The rebranding of the Career Center is more than just a name change. We are engaging all levels of career development — including alumni, who have historically not always had their needs tapped into. We want to be a lifetime benefit, and long-term partners with them,” she said.
The podcast, rooted in storytelling, is aimed at all members of the community, but especially hopes to reach groups underserved by traditional career services and resources, said the center’s Assistant Director JAKE Small. “We want to allow people to share their stories and ask questions in a conversational way,” he said.
Meeting students where they are
Small said students had expressed a desire for more resources about demystifying the world of work to supplement the many websites, forums, workshops, counseling, and other programming options Suffolk already makes available. Research showed that one in four students regularly consumed podcasts, which gave producers encouragement that the format would be well-received, he said.
“We always want to meet students where they are, and we thought a podcast would allow for personality and authenticity about what people are experiencing,” said Small. All members of the Suffolk community are encouraged to suggest a topic or guest host an episode, he said.
The first few episodes feature interviews with current students and entrepreneurs, and later shows will tackle workplace equity and a host of other issues.
Ramplify producers hope the podcast will become an academic learning and teaching tool as well, with Suffolk faculty sharing episodes as part of coursework, and encouraging students to consider how their academic and extracurricular endeavors build toward finding a career by having them listen to an episode related to their desired industry.
Career readiness is a lifelong journey, Kelly said during her Ramplify interview. The world is changing rapidly and Suffolk leaders are determined to ensure graduates are ready for whatever comes next.
Suffolk students and alumni are “focused on the value of higher education and what it can do for them in terms of their careers and their potential to positively impact their communities over the course of their lives,” she said.
“We create transformational learning opportunities that lead to career success and positive community impact… We hope (students) will be starting here at Suffolk really launching their career path rather than just focused on the first job they are going to get out of school.”
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