New director plans to relaunch Career Services: Focus to shift to students early in their college careers

Posted by Adrian Appleman

Deborah Loffredo has served as the new director of Career Services since Sept. 26, bringing a wealth of career development experience and ambition along with her and already working to render changes in what may be renamed the Career Development Center.

As reported by Scope, Loffredo is a "career-development professional" who has had extensive experience in the professional realm, including working as a manager of campus recruiting for the Pepsi Bottling Group, a human performance consultant at global consulting firm Accenture and a senior staffing specialist at Thermo Electron.

"We are looking to relaunch and rebrand Career Services to become the Career Development Center," Loffredo said, "with a focus on developing and engaging students earlier in their Skidmore careers through a variety of programming, including offering trained senior peer career coaches. We also plan to improve our support for students and alumni pursuing graduate education, international students pursuing careers in the U.S. and alumni looking to make career transitions."

Penny Loretto, who served as interim director of Career Services from December 2010 to this September, met with Loffredo as part of the screening process.

"Ms. Loffredo was by far the best candidate for the position," Loretto said in an email. "Her expertise, vision and past experience made her the perfect candidate for the job." 

Most recently, Loffredo worked at the NYU Stern School of Business, where she served in a variety of roles, including employer relations, career development and counseling for MBA students and alumni and leadership development.

"The skills I developed in these roles gave me a great foundation to come to Skidmore and add value in Career Services," Loffredo said.

Loffredo oversees the development and delivery of programs and services that help students and alumni set and achieve their short and long-term career goals. She collaborates with faculty, alumni, parents, students and administration to expand the Career Services offerings, which includes cultivating relationships with prospective employers.

"Ms. Loffredo has already made presentations to the Alumni Association, Parents Council and SGA, discussing some of the new initiatives Career Services hopes to make in the next couple of years," Loretto said, "along with asking for feedback and suggestions on ways Career Services can improve on the services it offers to students and alumni."

Since arriving in September, Loffredo has met with students, faculty, alumni and various associations within the College community. "It seems as if everyone at Skidmore wants a piece of her," said Shelly Bouchard, staff assistant and recruiting coordinator for Career Services.

Loffredo has also overseen several projects, including the coordination of the third annual Career Jam on Oct. 14 in conjunction with the Alumni Association and Parents Council. She, along with the rest of Career Services, is overseeing the placement of approximately 100 students with sponsors who work in career fields and locations of interest to students during winter break, as well as orchestrating internship workshops and "Living the Liberal Arts" presentations throughout the remainder of the semester.

"The liberal arts curriculum prepares students with critical thinking and problem solving skills, communication and interpersonal skills, the ability to take risks and embrace change, leadership skills, etc.," Loffredo said. "I attended a small liberal arts school similar to Skidmore and I loved the diverse learning platform provided by the liberal arts curriculum. Skidmore graduates go into so many unique careers with this foundation, which makes my job as a Career Services professional extremely interesting and fun. Skidmore is a very special place and a welcoming community; I am thrilled to be here."

The next Internship Workshop will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov, 8 in Bolton Hall, Room 280. "Living the Liberal Arts in Biology" will take place at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11, at the Murray Aikins Dining Hall.

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