The Center for Career Discovery and Development, known more commonly as C2D2, has a new name to go along with other significant changes, effective July 1.

After an extensive review process, C2D2 has been reorganized and will officially be called the Career Center. The rebranding is the first for the center since its creation in 2013 when the Division of Professional Practice and Career Services merged. The Career Center will continue to provide career education and advising; coordinate career fairs and other career programming; and connect students across all colleges and majors with opportunities for co-op positions, internships, and full-time jobs.

I am very excited about the changes we hope to begin implementing in the coming academic year. Our review, led by Georgia Tech Strategic Consulting, involved interviews and input from over 90 students, faculty, and staff as well as an external benchmarking study that examined other universities’ career centers,” explained Steven P. Girardot, associate vice provost for Undergraduate Education.

“It was clear from our research that we have opportunities to strengthen our operations, reputation, programming, and collaboration with our colleges and campus partners. Our plan provides a clear path for addressing these priorities, and most importantly, will allow us to better serve all students.” 

The organizational changes focus on three crucial areas: career education, co-op and work-based experiential education, and employer connections. A new career champions network will include multiple faculty and staff from each college, and additional cross-campus working groups will be established around co-op and internships as well as industry relations. Finally, new Career Educator positions will be established (contingent on budgetary approvals) to partner the Career Center more directly with academic colleges, most notably to connect career and academic advising.

Following a national search that began last fall, James Barricelli was appointed as the new executive director of the Career Center. He has served as the director of Employer Relations for the center since November 2018 and officially began his new role on June 15. With more than 16 years of experience in career services and higher education, Barricelli has led teams at Wake Forest University, UNC-Chapel Hill, George Washington University, and George Mason University. He holds a B.A. in history from Utica College of Syracuse University and a master’s in higher education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to lead the Career Center and build on what the team has already achieved,” he said. “To better serve all students, we are actively exploring more diverse collaborations, designing robust career programming, and working to expand students’ professional networks.”

Barricelli will oversee and implement the transformation of career services, undergraduate cooperative and work-based experiential education, and professional development activities. He will collaborate with leadership in graduate career services and pre-professional advising to ensure seamless integration of these services and programs with a focus to ensure students across all colleges are well-served by the center. He will also serve as a member of the Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE) leadership team.

The search committee was chaired by Caroline Wood, executive director of Corporate Relations in the Office of Development, with support from Leslie Dionne Whit, assistant director for Administrative Operations in OUE, and the Career Leadership Collective, a consulting firm specializing in higher education career services.

The organizational review processes also highlighted the need for Georgia Tech to think strategically about its highly recognized undergraduate co-op program, as well as other forms of work-based experiential education.

The value of work-integrated learning is undeniable, and I am excited to lead the effort of integrating Tech's academic education with enriching work experiences,” said Andrea Comsa, who assumed a new role in the center as director of co-op and experiential education.

“I plan to streamline and increase undergraduate co-op and experiential education opportunities across all disciplines and position the Career Center as a central hub that connects and supports campus partners engaged in undergraduate experiential education.”

A new position, director of Career Education, has been created, and a national search will be launched when resources allow. This position will lead career programming, outreach, advising, and education and will work to bridge career and academic advising.             

The Career Center is critical to the Institute and a core component of our student experience,” Barricelli said. “I’m optimistic about the center’s future and our ability to support Georgia Tech students.”