LSU Officially Cuts Ribbon on Olinde Career Center
BATON ROUGE – On Tuesday, Sept. 2, LSU cut the ribbon on the Olinde Career Center in the Student Union, officially bringing together LSU’s career services operations in one convenient, central location on campus.
“This is a great day for our students. This is a great day for our graduates. This is a great day for our corporate partners,” said LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander. “Thank you all and our donors so very much – Dr. Olinde, the family – for making this come to reality, which will have long lasting inter-generational impact for decades to come.”
LSU Olinde Career Center Director Mary Feduccia presided over the ceremony, and remarks were given by Alexander, Student Life & Enrollment Vice Chancellor Kurt Keppler, Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development Stephen Moret and LSU Student Body President Clay Tufts.
“Today is a great day for LSU and for LSU students for many decades to come,” Feduccia said. “The Olinde center is a testimony to the value that LSU places on preparing students well for their careers.”
The speakers thanked those in attendance, including donors and corporate partners who helped make the project a reality. Special thanks was given to the Olinde family for their support of LSU’s career services.
Keppler said that he never met a family who cared more about student success than the Olindes.
“This project is about student success,” he said. “The whole reason we have a career center is because we want our students to be successful in their endeavors.”
The LSU Olinde Career Center provides assistance to more than 12,000 students each academic year through career decision-making, job search, employment services and experiential education appointments. The Olinde Career Center communicates with more than 15,000 employers every semester and helps facilitate more than 5,000 employer/student interviews annually.
Those numbers should grow through this state-of-the-art facility, which marks the first time in nearly 30 years that the career center staffs from employment services and student services have resided in the same building.
“Thousands of promising careers will start right here at LSU and right here at the Olinde Career Center,” Moret said. “Through this center, LSU will be able to enhance its economic development impact on the Baton Rouge area and our entire state, while helping thousands of students to explore their career interests and land great jobs.”
The redesigned space spans 17,000 square feet on two floors. Included alongside staff offices, student services on the first floor are features like the Cale P. Smith Student Financial Management Center, which will engage students in financial literacy education and advise students to become financially responsible. Financial literacy education plays an important role in teaching students how to properly create and maintain a budget, form disciplined spending habits and set financial goals.
The Olinde Career Center’s opening will help LSU students be even more successful in the job market and in their careers overall.
Alexander shared that LSU graduates rank among the best in the country currently with starting salaries of around $48,000 per year, which puts LSU’s graduates 33rd overall among 150 public research universities. Further, mid-career earnings of LSU graduates rank among the best in the country and above four-fifths of Southeastern Conference schools at around $83,200. Lastly, LSU provides students with a great start to their earnings by helping to ensure they graduate with little-to-no debt. The national average for students finishing college with debt is 72 percent, while only about 35 percent of LSU graduates finish with debt.
“Talk about a fair start … I’d say our graduates are getting off to a great fair start,” Alexander said.
The Olinde Center also features innovative “Dress for Success” interactive technology, a touch-screen exhibit that will provide students with the opportunity to learn about appropriate work attire in the professional office and interviewing setting. LSU is the first school in the country to boast this type of interactive technology. The “Dress for Success” exhibit is a part of the Chevron Workforce Development Center, which houses computer and print resources, not only for students seeking employment, but for those with questions about choosing a major or graduate school as well.
The second floor recruitment center includes 22 interview rooms for the On-Campus Interviewing Program, as well as the Humphrey T. Olinde Executive Conference Room, equipped with video conferencing technology for staff, student or employer use. The second floor will also house the Career classroom, a 40-person space equipped with multi-media technology, which will host Lunch & Learns to help develop and prepare students to enter the workforce provided by employers recruiting on campus.
“With its prime location, the career center will continue to place Louisiana’s best and brightest students on a path to success and more,” Tufts said. “Today’s opening is yet another great resource that LSU has provided to the student body. The career center is definitely one of the main reasons LSU students will be ahead of the rest in their careers.”
The Olinde Center is also committed to shared success of LSU Campus Life, and has collaborated to provide a space for student leadership. This state-of-the-art space will feature the Humphrey T. Olinde Executive Conference Room, a smart classroom, a leadership library and ample casual meeting space for student leaders and their organizations. It will also house offices for Campus Life staff whose missions are to assist and guide student leaders and their organizations.
The Campus Life space, on the second floor of the LSU Student Union, will remain open until 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, while the balance of the Olinde Center closes at 4:30 p.m.
According to Keppler, the space will also include a new Geaux Center, which will serve as a recruiting area for enrollment management and will serve as the starting point for on-campus tours for prospective students.
The shared services of the LSU Olinde Career Center will also house a passport office. Alexander said that when a student graduates from LSU, he wants to see them walk across the stage with a diploma in one hand and a passport in the other.
“This office is more significant than you’ll ever know, encouraging our students to go overseas to study; encouraging them to look at broader, wider opportunities; and it’s located exactly in the heart and soul of campus,” he said.
The new LSU Olinde Career Center was made possible through the generosity of donors to the LSU Foundation for the benefit of the center.
For more information on the LSU Olinde Career Center, visit http://students.lsu.edu/careercenter.