the new executive director for the
Center for Career Services, says she hopes to make the growing
center still more effective for students by emphasizing customer
service and developing a four-year career program to meet students'
changing needs during their time at the College.
Sanchez comes to the position from
Albuquerque, where she was director of career services for 23,000
students at the University of New Mexico. She succeeds
Eileen Kohan, who left nearly a year ago for the University of
Southern California. Sue
Mescher, associate dean of
administration, had been overseeing career services on an interim
basis while a search was conducted for a director.
Among Sanchez's visions for Columbia
is a career core curriculum that would parallel students' academic
progress. In a series of workshops, activities and events, students
would work their way through a four-year career curriculum starting
with exploring the options as first years and moving on to how to
attain those dream jobs through networking, interviewing and other
skills of today's savvy graduate. Tailoring programs to each
year in school would mirror the
new organization of the academic advising system, which became
class-based last year.
Sanchez, who began in her new
position on August 9, says she wants to increase student
involvement with the center in East Campus by making it "a warm and
inviting place students want to come." The space is currently being
renovated as part of a project to be completed in December that
will add more interviewing rooms to accommodate on-campus
recruiters, as well as improve the lighting and other aspects of
As for on-campus recruiting, Sanchez
says that the scope and type of companies who come to campus to
interview could be expanded, and that she will use some of her
non-New York contacts to help bring outside companies to the
She wants to build up the center's
web resources and add more technical training such as job-hunting
over the Internet, which recently has mushroomed with job database
sites such as Monster Board. However, she also envisions more
personal interaction among the center staff, students and alumni.
"The technology should augment the relationships and contact," she
said of electronic resources. "We want to maintain a
Sanchez intends to be involved in
one-on-one career counseling. "Personal contact is a priority," she
said. "I learn how we're serving them and also the mindset of the
students as they go through school."
Sanchez, who was at New Mexico for
four years prior to joining Columbia, has an open, friendly style
and a nurturing demeanor that should be welcomed by the students.
At UNM she served as chair of the Excellence in Customer Service
"I'm very strong on customer
service. Everyone who comes in the door is a customer and part of
our client base," she said.
As the semester begins, Sanchez is
analyzing the existing Center for Career Services and perceptions
of it by meeting with its staff, users and others who interact with
it. "I'm not new to the career industry. What I need to get is the
Columbia perspective," she said.
Sanchez has three grown children and
has herself followed a diverse career path. In addition to working
as an account executive at AT&T, the Los Angeles native has run
her own consulting business for human resources and career
counseling, served as city clerk in Albuquerque and
assistant deputy mayor in L.A.
She is also a pilot who opened her own flight school in the late
"Statistics say people will have
five careers," she said. "I'm anticipating and expecting this will
be my final career."