I'm United

Sally Foster



It was a perfect example of how badly a new facility is needed at Gatton. On the eve of the Oscars, none other than PricewaterhouseCoopers, which provides auditing services to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, was in the house. The firm visited The Graham Office of Career Management to interview Gatton students for internships.

Sally Foster, director of The Graham Office, notes students were lined up five at a time to talk to recruiters. “We have a steady stream of traffic, especially when you have a high profile employer sought after by students like this one,” she says.

Although The Graham Office is a new entity in the College, having been established a year ago, it is affected by space constraints in the current Gatton College facility, Foster says. The condition of the building facility is linked to the impression that would-be employers might have of the College and its students. That’s one reason the renovation and expansion project is so critical from an employer recruitment perspective.

“Of course the students have to do a great job of selling themselves. But the backdrop of an up-to-date, impressive space will enhance everyone’s experience,” Foster says, adding that, “having an environment that is professional and up-to-date will really benefit the experience of both students and employers when they’re meeting with different recruiting events and interviews. It’s going to give us a different persona of our image just by the space being updated.”

We’re in competition with our product, the students, as candidates. We want the employers’ experience to be positive so that they want to return here and enjoy coming to Gatton to recruit.

The Graham Office of Career Management works closely with the university’s Stuckert Career Center to provide comprehensive career management services to students and employers. Its mission is to assisting students in their career development process and employment success by working closely with employers who seek to hire world-ready interns and graduates.

When employers visit the renovated building, they will see expanded space for career fairs and networking receptions and interviewing experiences, Foster says. “I see it as having flexibility. When we’re doing an event currently, it’s tough to find a location to reserve. We are maxed out on space.”

The career office is now housed in a suite which will be expanded. It will be located in the hub of activity, where students will be traveling to and from classes and to a cafeteria.

Foster notes that employers aren’t just visiting Gatton; they’re cross-comparing students at other schools, some of which have more modern facilities. That, in turn, leaves a lingering impression on recruiters, she says. When firms like PricewaterhouseCoopers come calling in the future, they’ll see quite a different space, she adds.

“We’re in competition with our product, the students, as candidates. We want the employers’ experience to be positive so that they want to return here and enjoy coming to Gatton to recruit.”