BY KATHERINE MATUSZEK
With a fairly new group of staff members in the Center for Career Development (CCD), Meghan Makarczuk, rounds out the bunch as she will be serving as the new director of the center.
Before coming to Manhattanville, Makarczuk worked in a lifestyle boutique company as the organizer of their internship program. She later went on to receive her Master’s in Education in School Counseling, because she enjoyed working with the students that entered her program. Upon graduation, Majarczuk fell into higher education, and began to love the work, particularly career counselling.
“It’s the best of both worlds. You have that corporate structure, even though it’s a nonprofit, but the primary focus is the students,” she said.
Because Makarczuk has such a passion for helping students during a vital time in their life, work in the CCD makes sense. Most recently, she worked at Manhattan College and really discovered the importance of successful collaboration between students, career counselors, and staff.
As director of the CCD, Makarczuk wears many hats. Between working with her staff of five on new projects and initiatives they have in mind, or attending meetings and interacting with other departments, Makarczuk’s focus is the students. She is the one who reaches out to organizations or companies to tell them about the “fantastic talent pool” that Manhattanville has. She wants students to come to her with a “wish list” of jobs or networking opportunities they want a chance to get.
“We’re giving you all the tools you need to survive. I think it’s important that you are able to network and survive or come back to us, whether it’s with question, comments, concerns or just paying it forward,” she said.
She also wants to help students at all points along their path. Whether they have only been on campus for a few months or they will be graduating soon. She wants to emphasize the holistic approach that Career Centers can have. Not only can they help with internships and jobs, but also with choosing a major, showing students different paths, they can take, or helping students see and be able to market their strengths. Ultimately, the Center for Career Development wants to be involved in creating dimensional and dynamic students.
“Really, my goal is to help you graduate with something tangible, whether that is a job, an idea of a company you want to start, or learning how we can do something like apply to graduate programs,” she said.
Because of the diversity and adaptability of campus life, no two days or no two students are ever the same. The concept that the CCD is a life changing office reins true. Each class is different, each student has different needs, and it is up to the CCD to try and meet them. But to no avail, Makarczuk is up to the challenge; it is exhilarating for her. Since listening to a piece on NPR about Design Thinking, before applying to Manhattanville, Makarczuk has had the concept bouncing around in her head.
When looking at different institutions, she read the strategic plan and President Geisler’s statement. The mention of the School of Design Thinking and the idea of the ATLAS program immediately hooked her. Makarczuk’s immediate interest in the future of Manhattanville and her passion for student success, will make a great addition to the Center for Career Development.
“Coming on to this campus it had this feeling of ‘Oh I’m coming home.’ The sense of community immediately struck me,” she said.