Career Services and Leadership Management
The Office of Career Services and Leadership Management helps students and alumni lead meaningful and impactful careers in the social sector by providing tailored guidance and support at every stage of their professional journey.
The services, which extend beyond graduation, include individual career counseling, career and professional development workshops, recruitment and networking events, information on licensing and certification, and access to job opportunities and a wide array of tools and resources to enhance students’ educational and professional experience.
CAREER CONNECT, Online Jobs Database:
Individual Career Counseling
The Office offers individual 30-minute career counseling and coaching services to students both by appointment and during weekly drop-in hours (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 1:00 to 2:00 pm). Any student can make an appointment online using the school’s exclusive career management system, Career Connect, which also serves as a virtual job board, event registration tool, and resource database. Appointments can be arranged in person, over the phone, or virtually via Zoom. Drop-in appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis in Room 525 and 526.
Discussions may cover a variety of topics, from assessing strengths, interests, and goals, exploring different career paths, developing branding materials such as resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles, job searching, networking, interviewing, negotiating offers, getting licensed, and creating and implementing a strategic plan to remain marketable and successful in today’s competitive workforce.
In addition to providing one-one-one support, the Office leads workshops and webinars addressing a range of popular topics such as resume writing, navigating the job search, interviewing, networking, and getting licensed. Many of the workshops are live-streamed.
Career Talks and Panels
To help expand students’ knowledge of the field and career options, the Office coordinates career talks and panels with alumni and professionals in the field. These events present key opportunities to learn more about both traditional and non-traditional career paths that students may pursue after graduation, as well as insights on gaining entry into the respective fields.
Networking with Alumni
Networking is an essential aspect of career and professional development that involves developing new connections to gather and share career-related information, advice, and support. It is one of the best ways to gain insider knowledge about different roles and organizations and to tap into the hidden job market. To facilitate networking with CSSW alumni, the Office collaborates with the Office of Alumni Relations to organize special programs, such as the Annual Networking Night at the Columbia Club. Students also have access to the alumni directory and LinkedIn group to connect with the larger CSSW community.
Employers actively seek CSSW talent. The Office partners with recruiters to host exclusive on-campus information sessions throughout the year. Sessions typically include an overview of the organization’s mission, goals, and culture, employment opportunities available immediately or in the future, and hiring processes, followed by a Q&A. Students are strongly encouraged to attend to network with recruiters, learn about different organizations and career paths, and gain insight into qualities they seek in candidates.
Job Fairs provide additional opportunities for students to make personal connections with recruiters and learn more about different organizations and career paths. Each Spring, in collaboration with a consortium of graduate schools of social work in the Metropolitan New York area, the Office co-hosts the Master’s Level Social Work Job Fair. More than 80 employers typically participate in the event. Students are also invited to fairs hosted by partner schools and organizations, including Mailman School of Public Health’s Career Day, Teacher’s College’s Education Career Fair, and Baruch College’s Social Impact Career Fair.
Students and alumni can view and apply to various opportunities targeting the CSSW community on the school’s exclusive career management system, Career Connect. Opportunities include part-time and full-time jobs, fellowships, summer internships, and volunteer work. All students are provided an account at the start of the program and have continued access after graduation.
The Office distributes a weekly e-newsletter to all students and alumni (who opt-in) to share important announcements, information on upcoming events on and off-campus, student and alumni career achievements, employment, professional development, and leadership opportunities, and additional career-related information. Students are encouraged to review the enews, as well as regular email communications, to stay up-to-date on various resources and opportunities made available. Relevant information and updates are also posted on the Career Services Blog Site.
Extensive career material including tip sheets, templates, guides, job search links, and professional development and networking resources are available in the Document Library within Career Connect, as well as on the Career Services Blog Site. Students also have free access to GoinGlobal and Impactpool, which provide additional information and resources on opportunities nationwide and abroad. Used in conjunction with other support services, they can be powerful tools for career development and planning.
Professional Licensing and Certification
The Office maintains current information on licensing and certification of social workers and works closely with the Office of Student Services to facilitate the respective processes pre and post-graduation. For more information, visit the Licensing page.