In an effort to increase its accessibility to the student body, the UC Berkeley Career Center will open at a new location on Bancroft Way across from Eshleman Hall Monday.
The move comes as a result of the B.E.A.R.S. Initiative, which was approved by students in 2010 and provided the center with $3.2 million to finance the move from its Downtown Berkeley location. The initiative will also include renovations to the Cesar Chavez Student Center, Eshleman Hall and the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union, among other surrounding buildings around Sproul Plaza.
The Career Center has been redesigned to serve students at a location that is more integrated with student life, said center Assistant Director Suzanne Helbig.
“We were largely out-of-sight, out-of-mind and not woven into student life,” Helbig said. “When we interviewed students to see what we could improve, the overwhelming response was that we needed to be in a more central location. This is something that the student body wanted.”
The new center also includes a Blue and Gold room — which seats more than 100 students — that will accommodate large workshops and information sessions. Because the old center lacked a large room, center staff would organize workshops in classrooms on campus, which Helbig said was inconvenient for students.
Additionally, the center also includes 25 multipurpose rooms — which will be used for employer interviews — and designated rooms for career counseling. Student employees at the new “Apple store meets Nordstrom” reception area will use tablets to quickly and efficiently direct students to the appropriate department within the center, Helbig said.
“We’re throwing tradition out the window,” Helbig said. “Students will be met at the door with customized service.”
The move to Bancroft is part of the B.E.A.R.S. Initiative’s goal to make Lower Sproul Plaza a “campus living room,” said ASUC President Connor Landgraf in an email.
The career center’s proximity will allow the Career Center to offer informal walk-in services to the general student body, including an informal career lounge on Fridays for students to learn about upcoming events, deadlines and job fairs — something that was hard to do from its previous location on Bancroft and Oxford Street.
“The closer location is good because, basically, students are apathetic,” said campus junior Emily Burt. “It’s hard enough to get us out of bed … And I see so many students adrift after graduation, so obviously having a strong career center is very important.”
The center is scheduled to begin operating with full services Tuesday but will offer limited consultation and job interview services Monday.
Contact D.J. Sellarole at [email protected].