Preview shows off new Career Center

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September 17, 2010

12:34 AM

The line to enter the Sherman and Gloria H. Cohen Career Center wrapped around the perimeter of the building twice and tailed down into the road. With around 350 students registered for the sneak preview, the Career Center prepared for a full house. Luckily, the building has a variety of open areas both inside and out, so while crowded, the sneak preview was not cramped and provided a good introduction to the building’s highlights.

While the opportunity to network with potential employers was one reason to attend the sneak preview, the chance to finally explore the mysterious interior of the new building was another incentive. The center still needs some final touches, such as paint and furniture in a few areas, but it is functional and provides a good example of what students can expect.

The corner glass windows are the building’s main architectural attraction, and during the day will provide a friendly, natural atmosphere that most campus buildings lack. At night, the glass walls are well-lit but not overpowering, creating a sophisticated and professional atmosphere.

“It draws students in,” Mary Schilling, director of the Career Center, said. “It’s the glass box effect – people will be able to see in, which will make it more inviting.”

Greater accessibility will hopefully attract more students to the Career Center as well. According to Schilling, students are welcome to use the center not only for its career-related programs, but may also drop in to ask questions or to get in some reading time between classes.

The main “living room”, or the area that can be seen from the glass walls, will eventually be comfortably furnished and available for small events, receptions, discussion groups, meetings, or simply as a place in which to study. Although it was not complete for the sneak preview, Schilling said that a slate chimney will stretch sleekly from the bottom floor to the ceiling. It is hoped that this will keep the room inviting even during the bleak winter months.

Another attraction of the first floor is the versatile presentation room with two televisions at each end. According to Schilling, the room holds around 80 people and is intended to host presentations, information sessions, classes and other events at which there might be a crowd. For smaller events, especially simultaneous ones, the room can be divided in half.

For the sneak preview the outdoor patio – connected to the presentation room ¬– had a small tent in which some of the more popular employers, such as the Central Intelligence Agency, setup tables. The patio looks straight onto the football field and is another spacious area for receptions and events.

The main attraction of the second floor is the rooftop terrace, which has an even better view of the football field than the first-floor patio. The main use of the terrace will be for sponsor and employee tailgates. Companies will invite students to mingle with employers during the tailgates, giving accomplished students who are interested in those careers a chance to make connections in the field.

The second floor is also home to the interview rooms, all of which are equipped with teleconferencing technology — one of which is also equipped with video chat software. A balcony overlooking the first floor provides a comfortable area for students to sit and wait for their appointments.

Employer tables were set up in each of these four rooms, where well-dressed students tried to make their best impressions on company representatives. Food, desserts and drinks entertained students who weren’t busy in conversation, and a live jazz band added more excitement to the balcony.

The building will officially open to the public Sept. 29. It will be fully functional upon opening and will continue both its regular programs along with new events.

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