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On the cutting-edge of technology: Memorial's Centre for Career Development

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The new and improved Centre for Career Development includes video-conferencing capability.

Memorial’s Centre for Career Development has been transformed into a place of surpassed expectations thanks to a grant provided by The Counselling Foundation of Canada. The centre has become a place where students can go to define their goals and strive to attain them, and where employers can seek and successfully find quality matches to their desired qualifications.

Director of Memorial’s Department of Career Development and Experiential Learning, Rob Shea, describes his association with the foundation as a wonderful relationship. “We put in a proposal and received funding,” explained Mr. Shea. “Outside of the requirement to provide them with an annual report, the foundation has placed very few stipulations on the funding they’ve provided us. They are not looking for any kind of recognition.” It is something Mr. Shea says he has never before experienced in his career.

Now about half-way through the five-year grant, the centre has grown from an empty space housing a mere two computers into a high-tech career centre with over 13 computers available to students and employers and a video conferencing suite with technology that no other career centre in the country can currently touch. “This was our vision,” explained Mr. Shea. “At the time we had no idea where the funding was coming from, but here we are.”

Today, when you walk into the Centre for Career Development you encounter an inviting open-concept area with comfortable seating, and, with impressive ad-ons such as the teaching facility for employers, it has proven to be extremely useful. “Employers can now use our facilities for high-tech presentations,” said Mr. Shea. “They can take advantage of the available wireless microphones, surround-sound capabilities, drop-down screens and LCD projectors built into the room.”

The video-conferencing suite has also begun to grow in popularity as an increasing number of people have realized its amazing potential. Those who are associated with the co-operative elements of programs at Memorial have now started to use it for interviews and work-term presentations. There is even a tele-counselling pilot project currently underway with a high school in Twillingate, Newfoundland. “Our desire is to explore creative ways to provide career development support to students who will be making the transition from rural Newfoundland to the St. John’s campus through video-conferencing,” explained Mr. Shea.

Memorial is one of only a limited number of Canadian universities to have received a five-year grant from the foundation to date. This can be largely attributed to the close working relationship Mr. Shea has established with the foundation over the last few years. Outside of leading the Canadian Journal of Career Development, he also chairs a board funded by the foundation called Contact Point Incorporated, a cutting-edge online site for career practitioners.

Memorial currently has three projects funded through The Counselling Foundation of Canada: the tri-mentoring program, a five year project for high-tech funding and an ongoing grant for the Canadian Journal of Career Development, the first Canadian peer reviewed journal on career development. “Memorial is proud of its wonderful relationship with the foundation,” finished Mr. Shea. “And, grateful for the ability to partner with the foundation to enrich our students and alumni’s career opportunities.”

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