Sharon Belden Castonguay will step in as director of the Career Center in May 2013, according to an all-campus email sent by Vice President for University Relations Barbara-Jan Wilson on April 18. Castonguay most recently served as director at the Graduate Career Management Center for the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College in New York, N.Y.
“At Baruch, Sharon managed the corporate relations team responsible for employer relationships, marketing and on-campus recruiting,” Wilson wrote. “She revitalized Zicklin’s career education programming, served on the admissions committee and collaborated with the advancement office to build corporate relationships.”
Associate Vice President for Advancement and Director of Career Services at Colgate University Michael Sciola vacated the director position at the Wesleyan Career Center last year and Associate Vice President for External Relations Gemma Fontanella Ebstein stepped in as Interim Director. Fontanella Ebstein then conducted a national search for a new director with the help of student input, eventually selecting Belden Castonguay.
“She is the quintessential career director in the sense that she lives and breathes all of this and studies it—[she] did her dissertation on things in this field,” Fontanella Ebstein said. “She knows this industry from all of the different angles. One of her great strengths is an ability to assess and analyze an organization and how it’s operating…. She understands the metric piece of it, which I think we could do a better job of, and she’s very analytical in that regard, so I think she’ll beef that up a bit.”
Fontanella Ebstein praised Belden Castonguay’s work at Baruch, which is a senior college of the City University of New York (CUNY).
“She is currently director of career development at the business school at Baruch College in New York, where she has done a fabulous job working within a state system, which is really limiting,” Fontanella Ebstein said. “You have to be very strategic and really know how to move pieces around carefully.”
Wilson noted Belden Castonguay’s potential for improving the University’s internship and alumni networks.
“Providing students with ample opportunity to gain valuable career experience through internships is one of the Career Center’s top priorities, and I’m certain that Sharon will make a big impact in that area, especially in linking students with Wesleyan alumni and parents worldwide,” Wilson wrote.
According to Fontanella Ebstein, Belden Castonguay also excels at post-graduate counseling.
“She has a great understanding in terms of counseling students—on when to go to grad school, when not to go to grad school—she’s dealt with so many different types of populations that I think anything Wesleyan students bring to her, she’ll be able to offer them useful guidance,” she said.
There will be a reception in the fall of 2014 introducing Belden Castonguay to the University community.
“She brings a lot,” Fontanella Ebstein said. “She’s really impressive. I’m looking forward to working with her.”