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Center for Student Professional Development Overview

Undergraduate Students

The Center for Student Professional Development, formerly Vanderbilt Career Center, serves undergraduates enrolled full-time in the Blair School of Music, College of Arts and Science, School of Engineering, and Peabody College and also will provide full-services to recent graduates (0-2 years out).

The Center provides many opportunities for students to learn about and explore professional opportunities, including career coaching appointments, workshops, career panels, Industry Career Days, and field trips. Through exploration, students can begin to identify the right professional fit within the world of work.

To begin mapping out a life direction, students are encouraged to drop by the Center during Coaching Express to meet with one of the professional career coaches or peer career advocates on staff. During this 20-minute session, the staff member assists the student in determining next steps in the exploration process, or, if the student already has a field in mind, will connect the student with one of our Career Clusters (groups of related industries and/or career fields).

Professional pursuits of Vanderbilt graduates are varied and often not directly tied to a students major. For example, English majors sometimes find themselves in the music industry and Engineering majors find themselves on Wall Street. By providing coaching based on career clusters, students can explore their interests in various fields and see how they can apply what they have learned through their curricular and co-curricular experiences to a field of interest. Additionally, this approach provides students with more targeted information in their life mapping process.

As students begin to develop their professional persona, there are many resources they can leverage through the Center that will help them prepare for the world of work. A key resource is meeting with a Career Coach in a one-on-one coaching appointment where students are supported in their professional development including ways to conduct a strategic internship or job search. The goal is for students to develop their professional toolbox during their four years at the university which will provide a strong foundation to build upon after graduation.

For students not quite clear on their career interests, the Center offers career coaching and resources to assist students with clarification of goals. This process often leads students to explore professional development opportunities through participation in activities offered through the Center.

Graduate Students

The Center for Student Professional Development serves graduate students enrolled in a Masters or PhD program in the School of Engineering, College of Arts and Science, and the Divinity School interested in pursuing opportunities in industry, government, and/or non-profit.

Students pursuing academic employment should contact their faculty advisors or the departments in which they are currently enrolled for career advising and job search assistance.

Graduate students who are undecided about their career goals are encouraged to contact the Vanderbilt Psychological Counseling Center (VPCC) for career assessment and counseling and then be referred to the Center for appropriate follow up.

Additionally, the Center partners with the Peabody Career Center, Owen Career Management Center, and the Owen Special Programs Office to support students enrolled in a professional Masters program in Peabody College of Education and Human Development and MS Finance who are pursuing their first full-time professional opportunity. Services to these students include: access to DoreWays' job and internship database, industry career days and networking events, and campus recruiting.


Our Staff

The Center employs staff members to support you in your journey. Below you will find the staff with their titles. Clicking on them will display their picture to the right.

Our staff includes individuals dedicated to:

  • coaching you in your life path decisions
  • establishing relationships with potential employers
  • evaluating and implementing the best technology to support you

Center Staff Members:

Cindy Funk, Director
Megan Nicklaus, Associate Director
Jim Bellar, Associate Director
Daravanh Weeks, Office Manager
Joy Nobles, Front Office Assistant
Angie Beason, Communications Strategist
Brook Meissner, Assistant Director, Career Coach
Dorrie Presson, Assistant Director, Career Coach
Cynthia Washington, Assistant Director, Career Coach
Keilani Goggins, Assistant Director, Career Coach
Nancy Sibole, Assistant Director, Career Coach
Tiffany Franklin, Assistant Director, Career Coach
Katie Jo Sheek, Recruiting Coordinator
Sarah Kittrell, Recruiting Coordinator