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New dean ‘hopes to meet students’ needs’
Jennifer Burns, the newly appointed Assistant Dean of Career Services for the School of Communications, has been at the school for only four weeks and has already assisted more than 40 students.
Out of dozens of applicants, the Cornell University alumna was selected to provide career counseling specifically for school of communications majors.
Rick Hancock, Assistant Dean of the School of Communications, said Burns’ “energy, enthusiasm.and previous experience in student career development” made her stand out from other applicants.
Burns got her B.A. in English from Cornell University and received her Master of Arts in counseling from New York University.
Although Burns started working in the publishing industry immediately after college, she later found her passion to be helping others.
“I realized I really wanted to work with people. While in grad school, I studied career counseling and had the opportunity to intern at Columbia and I knew from that point on [this is what I wanted to do],” Burns said, enthusiastically.
As the Assistant Dean of Career Services, Burns will help students with their resumes and cover letters in addition to assisting them on their paths to finding internships and jobs.
“I hope to meet the students’ needs. I want to engage them in dialogue about what they want and what they’re looking for,” Burns said.
Something unique about the new position is that it specifically deals with majors in the School of Communications.
“[The position provides a] focused approach to career development and career options,” Hancock said.
Burns will be able to apply what she learned working as the Associate Director of Career Development for four years at Columbia University to her position at Quinnipiac.
“I learned that students often have so much to offer but they’re just not sure how to market themselves. Often students are less confused than they think they are and it is good for them to have a forum where they can talk about it to make career decisions more clear,” Burns said.
“I also learned what employers look for in students when they are looking to hire,” Burns added. Her past experience and knowledge of the field is a solid foundation that will benefit students throughout the school.
“Communications majors are unique and there are specific skills students will need to articulate themselves to hiring companies,” Hancock said. “To have someone with intimate knowledge of the skills and needs will be a huge benefit to students.”
Although she has mainly worked with juniors and seniors thus far, Burns feels it is never too early to think about the future of internships and jobs.
“If a freshman has questions and concerns, it is never too early to start thinking about the future and start figuring out the right path. I encourage anyone who wants to seek me out to set up an appointment,” Burns said.
Not only is Burns excited to work with students, but communications majors are eager to meet and work with her as well.
“I think [the position] will be beneficial because she will only deal with us [school of communications majors]. We no longer have to go to career services that dealt with everyone, so it will be more personal,” said Jess Morales, a junior public relations major.
Burns’ office is located in the Career Services building on Dorm Road. She has office hours Tuesdays from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. and Thursdays from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. for quick questions. Additionally, she is also eager to set up appointments with any students who cannot make these times.