Topeka, Kan.  - Forging a stronger connection between employers and Washburn students is the spark behind the Career Engagement Office at Washburn University. Formerly known as Career Services, the newly reimagined office emphasizes the importance of career development efforts in meeting the needs of the broader community.

    Providing experiential learning opportunities, such as internships, is a key focus of the office. They allow students to apply the skills and knowledge they are learning in the classroom, while connecting with potential future employers. Dr. JuliAnn Mazachek, president of Washburn University, encourages area companies and agencies to lean in.

    “Supporting an internship program within a business or organization is one of the most impactful ways to grow a talent pipeline,” said Mazachek. “Paid internships not only build capacity, but they also accelerate the ability to identify potential full-time hires. We believe this is an important initiative for the professional growth of our students and the economic growth of our community.”

    James Barraclough, who has spent more than 15 years in the Washburn and Topeka communities, leads the Career Engagement Office. Prior to this post, he served as director of the First-Year Experience Program and implemented several mentorship and first-generation student success initiatives. He considers this as an exciting new challenge in helping students realize their dreams.

    “I am thrilled to combine my campus and community connections as Washburn enhances our career development programming,” Barraclough said. “Our Career Engagement Team is a dedicated and talented group of people who utilizes numerous tools to connect employers and students, including an online system called Handshake. I encourage all businesses to check it out.”

    Handshake allows employers to post part-time and full-time jobs as well as internships for free. In turn, students explore career options, find jobs and internships as well as benefit from networking sessions and resume workshops.

    Barraclough invites companies and agencies to create a free account on Handshake. He also welcomes anyone with questions about developing internships to connect with Washburn’s Career Engagement Team at (785) 670.1450.

For further information, contact:
Lori Hutchinson
Exec. Dir. of Strategic Marketing & Communications
Office: (785) 670.1711
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