Dean Kenneth Schwartz and Professor Judith Kinnard have given $25,000 to establish the Tulane School of Architecture Career Services Fund and bolster job-related functions at the school.
Amid an increasingly competitive job market, a new initiative at the Tulane University School of Architecture will connect graduates to potential employers locally and around the world.
Established with a $25,000 gift from School of Architecture Dean Kenneth Schwartz and his wife, professor Judith Kinnard, the new Career Services Fund will build on university-wide career placement programs as well as assistant dean Wendy Sack’s recent efforts to find work for Tulane’s aspiring architects.
“It’s not like we’re starting from scratch,” Schwartz said. “We have a good foundation.”
The fund will develop several new efforts, including a section on the School of Architecture website matching employers to students. The site would serve as a one-stop shop for students and employers to find each another, and upper-class students will be able to post and continually update their resumés and portfolios for employers to see. That is a valuable tool considering the specific skills developed in architecture programs, said Schwartz.
Another aspect of career services is strengthening ties between the school and architecture firms, especially those led by alumni and Tulane supporters. In one example, Schwartz worked over the summer with an alumnus in the DLR Group’s Shanghai office, Harry Lu (A ’90), to create a paid internship program that would send three students to China each summer with the prospect of full-time employment upon graduation.
More Tulane-specific internships would go far in introducing students to potential employers in the New Orleans region and beyond. “I’d love to see an internship-placement program growing over the next year,” Schwartz said.
Along with the high-profile retrofit of Richardson Memorial Hall, improving career placement is one of Schwartz’s top priorities for the coming year. Part of his and Kinnard’s decision in personally creating the fund was the hope of attracting other architecture supporters to match it.
“We are vitally concerned for the future of our graduates, and we hope that this gift will both inspire others to contribute and allow the school to do more for our students and alumni,” they said in announcing the gift. “While the Tulane School of Architecture has been preparing young women and men for successful careers for a very long time, and while the school has always paid attention to the importance of professional placement, there is more that can and should be done in support of Tulane students.”
R.M. Morris is a writer in the Office of Development.
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