We are a resource that empowers faculty and staff to make career readiness tools, training and opportunities accessible to the 30,000 UB students preparing for future success. We partner with our university colleagues to bridge the gap between students’ on-campus learning and the incredible impact their careers will have on their families, companies and communities.
We believe that preparing our graduates to succeed in the world is a collective responsibility shared by faculty, staff, alumni and employer partners—an ecosystem of support for every student on campus. UB offers a combination of theories, skill-building and out-of-the-classroom learning. It also means making sure tomorrow’s professionals are equipped to enter rewarding careers that harness the value of their UB education, benefit their communities, and reflect UB’s academic excellence.
As professionals, we know that a career path is rarely linear, perfectly planned, or identical to anyone else’s. Instead, it’s iterative, experimental, and sometimes accidental—and this reality influences our approach to student career exploration. With the strong network provided by the UB ecosystem, students have flexibility, creativity, and encouragement to try new experiences to see what sparks lifelong passions. Our job is more than helping students find jobs, and we, collectively, are here to help students design their lives.
“Especially in this changing world, our graduates will be required to reimagine themselves many times in a lifetime. Our goal is to provide them with the skills and mindset to do that successfully.”
ARLENE KAUKUS | Director
Career Design Center, University at Buffalo
Studio 259 (located at 259 Capen Hall) is more than just an office for the Career Design Center. Instead, it’s a welcoming, active-learning design studio featuring self-guided public art installations focused on career and life design, professional selfie stations, a practice interview PoppinPod, the latest in mobile screens and flexible furniture to triple the amount of usable space. Faculty and staff are invited to visit Studio 259 to facilitate career conversations with students, conduct interviews, introduce career exploration resources to classes, and anything else you can dream up!
More than 90 percent of recruiters use online profiles such as those found on Bullseye powered by Handshake and LinkedIn when hiring. And the first thing a recruiter should see is your professional-looking photo. Stop by Studio 259 to take your professional selfie Monday-Friday.
Sometimes things just don’t go as planned. We all experience setbacks but sometimes our failures create the space for new opportunities that lead to our greatest achievements. Failure enhances our resilience and teaches us life lessons that help us to grow and step forward into possibly unexpected, but still undeniably wonderful life experiences.
Uncover adventures. Check out the paths that our #UBuffalo community has taken by scanning the QR code under their name and see yourself in their remarkable stories.
Your network is much larger than you think. Get started by thinking about the people in your life right now who support your academic and professional success. Grab a marker and fill in the bubbles!
Design your career + life with the Career Design Studio. Filter by how you are feeling, browse by collections, or let the Career Design studio surprise you by taking this simple quiz.
Who’s In Your Network? Building your network starts with the people you know, expanding each time you boldly connect with people who can provide industry insight, knowledge, and even more connections! Networking goes both ways, so think about how you can pay it forward when someone helps you, too.
Pick a pennant you are most drawn to. Scan the QR codes next to each pennant to explore that Career Community’s content collection in the Career Design Studio. Then, join one or more Career Communities in Bullseye powered by Handshake to receive personalized resources and events sent right to your inbox.
You are unique. Career Communities are the best place to explore all the ways you can combine your unique interests and talents with job market trends and in-demand skills, together with a community of like-minded UB students, alumni, and mentors.
Your major is just the beginning. Career paths are limitless with many twists and turns. By trying new things, you can build your way forward, weaving your interests and skills together. So, be open and say yes to new opportunities that challenge you to design a meaningful life and career. You may be surprised by the adventure that unfolds.
Practice and preparation are two keys to building the interviewing skills required to land the opportunity you want. Speaking naturally while telling good stories and selling your skills and experiences takes time to master. Take advantage of our Poppin Pod to settle in and use our Big Interview tool to practice the tough questions and increase your interviewing confidence.
We’re here to help you bridge the gap between curriculum and career excellence for the students you’re interacting with every day. There are so many ways faculty and staff can partner with our team at the Career Design Center to enhance the impact of career planning conversations you’re having with students, to develop an opportunity for service extension/scalability, and to make sure students are hearing consistent messaging regarding employability. Some activities take just minutes, while others present opportunities to really become a career champion on behalf of our students.
Let’s collaborate to build a custom plan that can help you and your department prepare students to excel beyond their time at UB.
Career opportunities in sustainability are growing exponentially, but the path into them isn’t clear cut, and UB Sustainability is all about partnerships. It’s not up to one unit, or a few individuals, especially within the context of higher education.
Hiring students made easy. Just post on-campus opportunities on Bullseye powered by Handshake using an on-campus employer account.
We’ve curated a library of webinars that can be easily woven into your curriculum or work-study to advance students’ career development & discovery.
Helpful posts on a range of career topics provide insights, instructions, and helpful tips; there are some for faculty and others for students.
A collection of self-guided tools, activities & templates to guide students in getting started, and help faculty & staff write syllabus statements or reference letters.
Serve as a staff career mentor, invite Career Design Center consultants to speak to your class, or let’s explore countless other ways to pool expertise to advance student career readiness.
A career champion is a faculty or staff member who includes career exploration and readiness into their core mission as a higher education professional. At UB, we foster a culture of career champions advocating for our students’ future success as they grow and learn throughout their UB experience.
“I went to see what they were up to over there,” Gray remembers. “Doing that, I was like, ‘Oh wow. OK. This is cool.” Impressed, Gray added several professional development tasks to the course. His students had to dress in “semi-professional attire,” go to the “PoppinPod” to practice their interview skills at the center, take a photo at the selfie station and make that their profile photo in UB Learns.
Our team at the Career Design Center is full of energetic individuals who love collaborating with our faculty and staff colleagues to come up with career readiness plans that benefit everyone. Meet your consultants below.
Career Design Consultant
Employer Partner for Internships
Employer + Alumni Partner Consultant
Career Design Consultant
Brand + Experience Strategy Lead
Employer + Alumni Strategy Lead
Career Education Strategy Lead
Career Design Consultant
Student Operations Coordinator
Career Design Consultant
Career Design Consultant
Career Design Consultant
Career opportunities in sustainability are growing exponentially, but the path into them isn’t clear cut. It’s a field of study that’s a more recent offering as a major at UB and at universities around the country, and one that continues to evolve and grow almost daily as experts understand more about the needs of the planet and its people. To help students find their place in this essential and emerging calling, the Career Design Center partners with UB Sustainability, an on-campus team of pros with a passion for sharing their profession.
A complex career path challenges tomorrow’s experts today.
While a student might study accounting to be an accountant or law to be a lawyer, people who want to work in sustainability need to customize their own blend of coursework, experience, and passion to land a job in this space. The field encompasses three primary focus areas: social equity, economic prosperity, and environmental stewardship—each with their own special competencies and skillsets that, taken together, help us make smart, balanced and effective long term decision making. Often, professionals who focus on sustainability measures do so through employment in another primary discipline, which can include a range of professions like business, policy, and journalism. To complicate matters even further, the word “sustainability” is rarely mentioned in job titles within the field, so knowing what to look for instead is paramount.
So how do students with a passion for protecting resources figure out how to prepare for and identify their dream jobs? They turn to professionals working in the field for guidance right here on campus.
Mentorships, meet-ups, and inspired outfits equip UB’s future change-makers.
UB Sustainability is a university department that works with a broad range of campus and community groups to facilitate the university’s Climate Action Plan, which calls for UB to achieve climate neutrality by 2030. The office also works with campus partners to promote programs and events around issues like diversity and inclusion, waste reduction, and sustainable food systems throughout the year.
The office is led by a core group of sustainability professionals, all of whom took very different pathways to their current career—and all of whom know first-hand how challenging it can be for students on a similar road. That’s why UB Sustainability partners with the Career Design Center on a series of events and opportunities to put students in direct contact with professionals working in sustainability roles to provide guidance, mentorship, and real-world experience.
“How I Got Started in Sustainability” is a panel discussion featuring industry experts who work in a variety of sustainability roles. First held virtually and now in person, these popular panels give students the chance to hear about some of the varied and distinct paths professionals have taken to reach their current positions, experiences they’ve found worthwhile along the way, and helpful courses they took (or wished they had). Another event called “Grow Your Network,” hosted at UB Sustainability’s net positive GRoW Clean Energy Center, is a casual gathering space where students can interact with colleagues from UB Sustainability’s broad network to practice their elevator pitches, discuss personal projects, and potentially find valuable opportunities for experience.
Staff from UB Sustainability hold office hours at the Career Design Center, where they’re available to field student questions and share career advice, review resumes, and help students pinpoint their passions and focus coursework and experience into employment targets to work toward.
Responsible re-use is a big principal in sustainability, and the job search is a perfect real-world application of this “slow fashion” movement. UB Sustainability maintains a professional clothing resource room full of gently used, interview-appropriate work attire that students can shop discreetly and for free, empowering them with the confidence to make a great first impression. The resource also serves as a social justice measure that enables less resourced and transitioning students to access appropriate clothing in a judgment-free space.
UB Sustainability hires students who are driven, self-starters to spearhead several on-campus programs and events. Those include running Zero Waste programs, which aim to reduce the amount of material that ends up in landfills during move-out day and throughout the year; forming partnerships with other on-campus entities to expand UB Sustainability’s engagement; and researching best practices that the office can implement to uphold its environmental justice and sustainability pillars to their fullest extent.
Partnership positions UB Sustainability to increase its impact.
Students aren’t the only ones to find immeasurable value in working with UB Sustainability—the office gains valuable insights that inform their work by interacting with tomorrow’s thought leaders, too. In-depth conversations with students help UB Sustainability keep an accurate pulse on what students think about certain topics on campus, like food waste or diversity and inclusion. Those talks help UB Sustainability fulfill its mission and focus efforts on what’s important to the UB campus community as a whole.
“UB’s biggest sustainability impact isn’t achieving net neutrality by 2030. It’s graduating over 5,000 change agents per year. We help prepare as many as we can, and the Career Design Center puts them out into the world.”
Ryan McPherson | UB Chief Sustainability Officer
Careers in public health call for professionals who can apply their knowledge and skill quickly and accurately to address the needs in front of them. It’s a big reason why Jessica Kruger, PhD, MCHES, embeds career readiness directly into her curriculum—to help prepare her students to apply classroom theory into career search practice. In a field that encompasses such a wide variety of job roles that can include research, health education, insurance, or emerging roles in the cannabis industry, it’s essential that students feel prepared to follow their own right career direction.
Dr. Kruger teaches primarily undergraduate 200-level public health courses and has partnered with the Career Design Center to connect students with career resources for the past five years. She invites Career Design Center staff to talk to her students about career resources, incorporates career readiness activities like writing cover letters into course work, assigns Career Design Center tool homework like using the 24/7 instant resume review, and welcomes alumni from previous years to answer current students’ career questions in class.
“Career core competencies fit really naturally into my courses,” she says. “Students learn how to apply course theories to their future work, and how to talk about that knowledge in an interview. In teaching we care about transparency—and these resources underscore why we’re learning what we’re learning.”
Students love the extra boost. They’ve told Dr. Kruger that integrated career readiness shows how much faculty care about their overall success and what they do next in life—and that they wished there was more career prep offered earlier and in more classes. To that end, Dr. Kruger works with new faculty colleagues to incorporate Career Design Center resources into their syllabi, too, and helps identify practical areas to pair career learning modules or tools with material faculty members are already teaching.
Once students have begun the work on things like writing a resume or searching for internships, Dr. Kruger will refer them to the Career Design Center for more focused one-on-one guidance to fine-tune each student’s specific job goals and activities to get there.
“I can tell them to go get internships, but not when or what’s in the rest of their career trajectory,” she explains. “I like to be the initial connector and tell them about the resources that are available, but the Career Design Center staff has the expertise and time to bring them closer to the finish line.”
Dr. Kruger believes that partnerships between university faculty, staff, and the Career Design Center are essential to reach as many of UB’s 30,000 students as possible in a collective effort to bolster success after graduation.
“It’s all of our jobs at the University to get our students into careers. We’re not just here to learn cool things—we should be preparing them from day one.”
JESSICA KRUGER, PhD, MCHES
Director of Teaching Innovation & Excellence, clinical assistant professor
School of Public Health & Health Professions