Columbia’s New Career Center

Published on Feb 09, 2016

By Neal Steichen (MFA ’17)

Columbia students have known that the Portfolio Center was the place to go to refine their work and prepare them to transition their art into a real-world career, but that won’t be the case for too much longer. In June, the Portfolio Center will be merging with two other Columbia offices, the Internship Program and Student Employment, to create the new Career Center. 

“[The Career Center] will make it easier for students to cross disciplines in the work they do, and to get quick access to information about career, portfolios, and internships,” says Christie Asif, the former Executive Director of Career Initiatives.  

According to Asif, this would also give students a tremendous advantage, making it easier for industry professionals to connect with and hire from Columbia.

“We are putting a huge focus on internships, connecting with industry, and career development across the entire Columbia experience,” explains Asif.

Christie Asif

So, why make the change to the Career Center now?

“Supporting career outcomes is a major priority for the college. This is something President Kim has talked about for a while and we’ve been looking into internship structures for about a year now,” says Asif.

“At the same time, we know the name “Portfolio Center” doesn’t cover all the great work this office does. Given the huge push to support students’ employability, it made sense to bring all of our career support together into one place.”

The Career Center appears to be a great improvement for everyone involved, and Columbia students are already getting to see some of the benefits of this synergy.

Both the new Columbia Internship Award, a scholarship for unpaid interns, and the Immersion series that brings students and professionals together have risen out of the collaboration of these currently separate offices. Asif is positive these successful programs are just a hint of the bright future that will come with the Career Center.

“These are just some examples of the great things that happen at Columbia when you start to bring people with similar goals together,” says Asif.

Find out more about the Columbia Internship Award and upcoming Immersion sessions.