Brookdale’s Office of Career Services is officially gone. Taking its place, beginning this semester, is the newly rebranded Office of Career and Leadership Development, which is already rolling out new services and advancement opportunities for Brookdale students.
The department, headed by career services director Sarah McElroy, former Student Life and Activities assistant director Jill Donovan and representatives Anne La Porta, Lynn Eyerman and Rose Messere, features an expanded focus on student development and skill building, offering new outlets for students to hone the traits that today’s employers are looking for.
While continuing to offer guidance and support for students seeking jobs, internships, and workforce experience, the department will also help Brookdalians become better students, employees and leaders in their chosen careers, McElroy said.
“Leadership qualities and leadership experience are extremely important to all employers,” said McElroy said. “No matter what career path you choose, these are vital skills to have.”
One of the department’s first initiatives is expected to be a popular one. Beginning this semester, McElroy and Donovan are establishing a Brookdale chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), the largest leadership honor society in America.
Boasting 509 chapters and more than 570,000 members across the country, the NSLS offers students a wide range of exclusive member benefits, including scholarship opportunities, awards, access to campus events, employer recruitment through an online job bank and discounts on computers, textbooks, grad school prep courses, insurance and more.
“Members will also be able to participate in live, interactive broadcast presentations by some truly inspiring people,” said Donovan. “In the past they have had Arianna Huffington, Carly Fiorina, Alton Brown, Hillary Duff – the list goes on.”
The Brookdale chapter will feature exclusive workshops and leadership development opportunities, allowing members to develop valuable skills while earning an official NSLS leadership certification, along with lifetime membership in the national organization.
“Ideally, we would like our members to help direct the future of the Brookdale chapter,” McElroy said. “There are opportunities for campus events, peer mentoring, conferences, high school outreach – and we want our students to take advantage of as much as they can while they are here.”
Invitations have been sent to Brookdale students who meet the NSLS member requirements, which include a 2.75 GPA, enrollment in a degree program, and the completion of between six and 30 credits at Brookdale. To become a member, invited students must attend one of two upcoming orientation programs:
- Friday, March 4 at 12pm in MAN building, Room 105
- Tuesday, March 8 at 5:30pm in the Navesink Rooms of the Student Life Cent
While NSLS offers exclusive benefits to chapter members, McElroy said many offerings – including the broadcasts of each leadership presentation – will be available to all students at Brookdale, as well as campus faculty.
The new NSLS Brookdale chapter, funded by a grant to the Career and Leadership Development office, will serve as an extension of the popular Brookdale United In Leadership Development (BUILD) program, which was established by McElroy and Donovan with the aid of a Brookdale Innovation Grant in 2014.
While limited in size, the BUILD program proved that Brookdale students can surpass even their own expectations when encouraged to grow and develop as leaders, McElroy said. And their former students seem to agree.
“BUILD opened so many doors for me,” said 2015 Brookdale graduate Celia Crudup, who currently serves as International Settlements Coordinator for Geodis Wilson, USA.
“I received a scholarship to be a part of the Women in Leadership program at Eagleton Institute of Politics, and I also was able to join the Alternate Spring Break program with Habitat for Humanity, all because of Jill and Sarah at BUILD… A program like this is essential for people who want to build skills that can change their lives, skills that can allow them to become a better person and make a difference in this world. I only wish I was still there to apply [to NSLS].”
The NSLS chapter will now have room to accommodate many more students than BUILD, including online students and those who can’t make it to campus regularly, Donovan said. To learn more about the chapter or inquire about membership, click here.
Learn more about the new Career and Leadership Development office by visiting their website.