‘The Door is Open’ Is the Message

The Career Development Services message to alumni is as sincere as it is clear: Come on in.

“Our services are available forever after graduation,” says John P. Carvana, executive director of CDS. “We have four career counselors, including myself, who are eager to help.” CDS is prepared to assist alumni with job searches, résumé writing or polishing, cover letters and honing their interview skills — all facets of looking for a job or a change of jobs. Carvana is quick to point out that CDS is not a placement service. “It’s a partnership, a working relationship, and we take that relationship seriously.”

CDS is well known among undergraduates on the LMU campus. It is the primary source of paid and unpaid internships, work-study positions, on-campus jobs, career and graduate school assistance and the LionJobs network. Graduates within the first five years are also frequent clients of CDS. They have found information and support there as they begin their careers.

Alumni who have been away from campus for a while are also welcomed back. Carvana says his office sees career development as a lifelong process, adding, “much like an LMU education is a lifelong investment.” And he has plans to widen the LMU network with Lions Hiring Lions, a nationwide program that he hope will connect alumni with recent graduates. “We can develop a nationwide mindset in the LMU community,” he says. CDS representatives have also begun attending alumni mixers around the Los Angeles area, helping make connections between alumni who are making hires and those looking for jobs.

Carvana says CDS has been adjusting to addressing the needs of more clients because of the nation’s harsh economy and changes in the way employers are connecting with job seekers. In-person career and job fairs are still being held, but fewer companies are attending those events nationwide. Virtual career fairs and Skype interviews are becoming more common, but the filter of technology can often be more a barrier than facilitator. CDS is addressing this evolving job situation, he says, by helping students and alumni understand the changes in ways that employers connect with job-seekers.

“There is a uniqueness about the LMU community,” Carvana says, “in terms of what this university has to offer, and how it prepares people to work in the community. We’re here to help spread that message.”

To learn more about LMU’s Career Development Services and its programs, go here.