University Breaks Ground on
the LSU Olinde Career Center
Story by Ernie Ballard, LSU Communications & University Relations
The changing economy and technological advances make today's job market increasingly global and competitive. To better meet the needs of students, alumni and employers, LSU broke ground on Thursday, May 10, for the new LSU Olinde Career Center, the future home of LSU Career Services.
The LSU Olinde Career Center will bring together Career Services' two current locations in a new state-of-the-art environment better suited to prepare LSU students and alumni for their careers. It is thanks to a generous gift from the Olinde family that construction can start later this year on the center, which will be located in the LSU Student Union in the site of the current bookstore.
"This gift is very special to LSU," LSU Chancellor Michael Martin said. "It will transform this building. It will further make it the hub of the campus, and it will give students the opportunity to begin to prepare for a career when they arrive not as they're leaving. It could not have happened and would not have happened without the generosity of this family."
In addition to Martin, individuals who spoke during the groundbreaking ceremony included LSU Vice Chancellor for Student Life & Enrollment Services Kurt Keppler, Director of LSU Career Services Mary Feduccia, Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development Stephen Moret and LSU Student Body President Taylor Cox.
Keppler said he's excited to see the career center move "to right smack dab in the heart of where the students live."
"We think it will increase usage, we think Olinde brings visibility and it will make the center shine," Keppler said. "Our students will utilize this service … from the moment they get on campus through graduation, and we're so excited to know that it will be an important aspect of their student life experience at LSU."
The mission of Career Services is to assist students and alumni in choosing careers, obtaining career-related work experiences while in school, developing job search skills, and securing employment or admission to graduate or professional school.
Feduccia said LSU needs a career center to satisfy the number one reason that students come to college – to have a good career.
"The value of this career center for the LSU community is huge," she said. "It will serve as such an excellent piece of our recruitment efforts so that when students and their parents come to look at LSU as a potential place for them to attend, they will see the value that LSU places on career development when they see this new Olinde Career Center."
The new center will occupy the space of the current LSU bookstore. Once construction is completed on the new Barnes & Noble bookstore across the street from the Student Union, renovations will begin for the LSU Olinde Career Center.
"This center is going to make a profound difference in the lives of literally tens of thousands of current and future students at LSU," Moret said. "It's also going to make a big difference on LSU's impact from an economic development perspective because it's going to improve the relationships and the experience the university has with business and industry across the state of Louisiana."
LSU Career Services' staff, resources and programs assist students and alumni at every stage of career development – from identifying a career and curriculum to complement an individual's strengths and gaining practical experiences in school, to developing proven job-search skills and connecting with potential employers.
"The students of LSU, the future of tomorrow's leaders, will be able to dream more, learn more and accomplish more for the state of Louisiana because of the Olinde Career Center," Cox said. "With the resources that the Olinde Career Center is able to offer students such as jobs; internships; Careers2Geaux; 12,000-plus employer contacts; and a friendly and caring staff who want to see students from freshman year through to graduation, I know that I, along with my fellow Tigers, have very little to worry about."
Martin reiterated the university's appreciation to the Olinde family for their investment in the future of LSU's graduates.
"This is an investment in future generations that will go out and hopefully make exactly the kind of difference and the kind of success that the Olinde family's had," Martin said.
"Thank you on behalf of all of the students, faculty and staff who come through this institution for generations to come."
For more information on Career Services, visit http://careercenter.lsu.edu/.