The Career Center will officially open in its new home Sept. 29. In addition to providing students resources for making decisions about their initial career direction, The Sherman and Gloria H. Cohen Career Center also will work with students, and alumni, to facilitate their skill development in the overall job search process. The new facility affords expanded space for workshops, mock interviews, and networking events.
The $7.9 million project was made possible by a generous $6 million gift by Sherman and Gloria H. Cohen as well as gifts from alumni, parents and employers. Sherman Cohen, a New York City real estate developer, attended the College in 1938. Mr. Cohen and his wife, Gloria, and members of their family will be on hand when the building is formally dedicated on Nov. 20.
“Gloria and I are extremely pleased that the new, state-of-the-art Career Center is now open for business,” said Mr. Cohen. “We are confident that the center will lift the profile of William & Mary’s career services by drawing prospective employers to campus as well as allowing students and alumni to maximize the effectiveness of their job searches.”
A longtime resident of New York City, Sherman Cohen was born in Suffolk, Va., and grew up in Newport News, Va. Following in the footsteps of his brothers Mortimer and Edward, who attended William & Mary in the 1930s, Sherman attended the College in 1938. He withdrew from the College after a semester to pursue business interests.
The spacious new 11,000-gross-square-foot facility more than doubles the space the center previously occupied in Blow Hall. The building, nestled between Zable Stadium and the Sadler Center, features an open and welcoming reception area and resource lounge, 80 seat presentation room, offices for professional career counselors to meet individually with students and a recruitment suit on the second floor that includes fifteen interview rooms.
Mary Schilling, director of the Cohen Center, noted career awareness and preparation have become increasingly important in the last decade and even more so in the current economy and job market.
“Skillful advising, alumni networking, interacting directly with employers, and developing communication skills will give students that extra advantage as they determine their career direction and commit to the job search or to applying for advanced degrees in graduate and professional schools,” she said.
Schilling added the new facility will allow even greater outreach, expanding services to first and second year students to get them thinking about their academic majors, internships and resumes earlier in their academic careers.
Last year Center personnel had more than 7,600 in-person contacts with students, helping them with career awareness and preparation. The amount of student interaction could double with the new facilities, officials said.
“What a thrill it is to be opening a state-of-the-art career center in the heart of our beautiful campus. The new Cohen Center is a tangible sign of the College’s on-going commitment helping students explore their many interests and abilities, learn about various careers and graduate school opportunities, and prepare to make a difference in the world through their chosen professions,” said Virginia Ambler, vice president for student affairs.