Inspirational, impressive, and intentional are words that aptly describe Ms. Ja’Net Glover, the new Senior Director of the University of Florida’s nationally recognized Career Connections Center (formerly Career Resource Center).
Ms. Glover leads the career center, which has 34 full-time staff and 50 part-time student employees. It serves 52,000 University of Florida students and alumni by helping employers connect with job seekers and offering students personalized career education and guidance to deepen their collegiate experience and prepare them for the world after graduation.
Education is Important
Rising from humble beginnings, Ms. Glover was a first generation college student and garnered two degrees from the University of Florida. “Education has had a big impact on my life and I have seen it create opportunities for many people,” said Ms. Glover, who has a Bachelor of Science in Recreation, Parks and Tourism from the College of Health and Human Performance and a Master of Science in Management from the Warrington College of Business Administration.
Experience Does Matter
Career experience helps prepare students for the opportunities and challenges they will face in life. Ms. Glover, who worked while in school and had two internships, understands first-hand the value of combining learning and working. “My undergraduate program emphasized aligning coursework and experience. Academic learning mixed with high impact experience is a powerful combination,” noted Ms. Glover.
Successful Alumni is a Top University of Florida Goal
University of Florida alumni who are alive today total over 400,000 and reside in every state and in over 100 nations. New alumni are minted each year. One of the seven University of Florida goals outlined in its 2016 report entitled “The Decade Ahead” is as follows: “Alumni who are successful in their careers and in life and who are proud to be graduates of the University of Florida.” The career center has a major role to play in helping the university achieve this goal and realize its aspiration of being a premier university that the state, nation, and world look to for leadership.
Infusing Career Development Throughout the Campus
An objective identified in “The Decade Ahead” report is “alumni who make significant contributions to their professions and society.” Enhancing student engagement with career services is a top priority. “My vision is to integrate career development into the fabric of the university. It will help students understand the importance of having experience and contributing back to the global community,” said Ms. Glover. Expanding and implementing an embedded career-liaison model in each University of Florida school is a current initiative that will infuse the career development process throughout the campus.
$10 Million Career Center Expansion
Prior to her appointment, Ms. Glover served as interim director of the career center. In this capacity, she oversaw its $10 million expansion initiative. This major project saw the center’s footprint expand from 15,000 square feet to 29,000 square feet in the Reitz Union. Focused on helping students prepare for successful careers, the newly renovated facility includes more interview rooms and multipurpose spaces to host programs and events. The doors open July 2nd and it will “usher more students into the facility,” according to Ms. Glover.
By the Numbers
Although career center engagement is more than a number, its impact can be seen in the numbers. It has successfully connected students and external partners. According to the 2016-2017 Annual Report, 69 recruiters from 49 organizations attended an employer retreat and 366 companies interviewed 4,903 students through the center. Also, 978 employers participated in career fairs, 15,744 students and alumni attended career fairs, and 12,882 employment connections were made.
New Name, New Leadership, New Opportunity
As seen in the numbers, connecting students, alumni, and employers is what the career center does. It should come as no surprise that its name changed from the Career Resource Center to the Career Connections Center. “We thought ‘career connections’ was more indicative of the work we do,” commented Ms. Glover. As the new leader of a talented and successful team committed to the holistic career development of students, Ms. Glover has an opportunity to bring the center to new heights and help make the University of Florida one of the top 5 public universities in the nation.
By Kamal I. Latham