Campus News

In an effort to boost students’ career prospects, UW-Madison opens new career center for College of Letters & Science

Chancellor Rebecca Blank spoke at the SuccessWorks grand opening Wednesday on the third floor of the University Book Store.

Chancellor Rebecca Blank spoke at the SuccessWorks grand opening Wednesday on the third floor of the University Book Store.

Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger

In an attempt to counter perceptions that its majors are unemployable, UW-Madison’s College of Letters and Science celebrated the grand opening of its new career center, SuccessWorks, Wednesday evening.

The career center, located on the third floor of the University Book Store, aims to connect L&S students with mentors and alumni who will help prepare them for professional success after graduation through workshops, mock interviews and internship events.

According to SuccessWorks Executive Director Rebekah Paré, the center was initiated as part of an L&S career initiative by L&S Dean John Karl Scholz, as well as in response to students’ concerns that L&S majors are impractical for future careers.

At the opening, Chancellor Rebecca Blank said SuccessWorks will help fulfill the goals of Scholz’s career initiative by promoting career preparation in L&S students. Blank said the new space will “transform” how liberal arts students prepare for life after college.

“The strength in connections to our talented alums from all over the state [will help] create new opportunities for our students about different careers while they’re still in school,” she said.

The event also featured Dan Kelly, the chief financial officer of one of UW-Madison’s top employers, American Family Insurance.

Kelly said American Family Insurance will involve the company’s employees in multiple SuccessWorks programs, including the new Career Communities model. This program exposes students to various careers, regardless of their major, he said.

According to Scholz, Career Communities consists of eight clusters of different job fields and will connect students to expert advisors, internships and jobs offered by Career Communities’ employer partners, as well as other organizations and UW-Madison alumni.

“As we leverage this alumni network to mentor students and open doors, we [will] begin to change the world,” Scholz said.

Giselle Blocker, a UW-Madison senior studying history and Chican@ and Latin@ studies, said SuccessWorks has already helped her earn a job outside of her major as a consulting analyst.

“I found a group of people supporting me, plus a whole organization dedicated to inspiring students to explore their passions and develop the confidence to achieve their goals, regardless of their major,” Blocker said.

She said she felt inspired by the encouragement she received from SuccessWorks staff to pursue a career in business, despite having a major in history.

“SuccessWorks shares my mentality that a degree from the College of Letters and Science gives me the knowledge and experience I need to do whatever I set my mind to,” Blocker said. “It is because of [SuccessWorks] that students like myself will continue to have a fire within them, motivating them towards their dreams.”

Scholz said he hopes SuccessWorks will continue to help other L&S students be successful in the future.

“We aspire to put every L&S student on the path to success, just like Giselle,” Scholz said. “Our characterization of our students is truth — Madison made, world ready.”

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