Center Attraction

Oxy's new Hameetman Career Center brings the College's career service, pre-health advising, and awards and fellowships offices under one highly visible roof

You can't miss it—and that's the point.

Sooner or later, every Oxy student will walk by the newly renovated and expanded Hameetman Career Center in the Arthur G. Coons Administrative Center. Its central, highly visible ground floor location is symbolic of the College's renewed commitment to helping Oxy students demonstrate the value of their liberal arts skills in the marketplace.

"Gone are the days of working as a barista at Starbucks for two years after you graduate to figure out what you want to do," said President Jonathan Veitch at the center's April 17 dedication. "If we are to be effective as a college, we have to make case for a liberal arts education. And the best argument for the liberal arts is the success of our students."

Fred Hameetman '61—who with his wife, Joyce, played a leading role in making possible the renovation of the 49-year-old space—expressed great pride in the project and the students that it serves. "My hope for the career center is that I want Oxy students to use it," said Hameetman, chairman of the American Group (an aggregate of mostly real estate businesses) since 1972. "It will tell you more about yourself. It will tell you more about what you want to do—what makes you happy."

Gifts from the Hameetmans, Joan Payden (whose global investment firm, Payden & Rygel, has hired several Oxy alumni over the last decade), Dave Anderson '63, and more than three dozen other donors made it possible to bring together the career service, pre-health advising, and national awards and fellowships offices into the inviting new space, with its high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and contemporary look. The center now enjoys more than double the space it previously occupied.

More than just an attractive space, the center now offers students a four-year program of career discernment. "It's not just a place for that panic-stricken moment the spring of your senior year," Veitch said. "We take a distinctly liberal arts approach to discernment—the process of determining what brings meaning to your life. This is a place where that question is asked and answered."

To help students plan for life after graduation, the center offers career and graduate school planning, with workshops, mixers and employee events; in-depth advising for those interested in medicine and other health professions; guidance in applying for national and international fellowships and scholarships; and paid and credit-bearing internships. The center offered more than 250 programs and events for students over the past academic year.

"This space is modern, inviting, well staffed, and equipped with the latest technology," said center director Valerie Savior '85. "This is a career center of the future." On the most basic level, Veitch added, the new center "will answer one of the questions my parents asked me relentlessly when I was in college: What can you do with an English major?"