The Daily Illini

LAS creates Life and Career Design Lab

College+of+LAS+sets+to+open+a+new+career+lab+to+help+undergraduates+with+internships%2C+peer+advising%2C+computer+and+printer+access%2C+and+more.+The+Life+%2B+Career+Design+Lab+is+set+to+open+Oct.+2+in+room+2040+in+Lincoln+Hall.+
College of LAS sets to open a new career lab to help undergraduates with internships, peer advising, computer and printer access, and more. The Life + Career Design Lab is set to open Oct. 2 in room 2040 in Lincoln Hall.

College of LAS sets to open a new career lab to help undergraduates with internships, peer advising, computer and printer access, and more. The Life + Career Design Lab is set to open Oct. 2 in room 2040 in Lincoln Hall.

Elisabeth Neely

Elisabeth Neely

College of LAS sets to open a new career lab to help undergraduates with internships, peer advising, computer and printer access, and more. The Life + Career Design Lab is set to open Oct. 2 in room 2040 in Lincoln Hall.

By Yasmeen Ragab, Contributing writer

With over 14,000 students and 70 different programs and disciplines, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is set to open a Life and Career Design Lab.

The lab is designed for undergraduate students to learn about internships, study abroad programs, undergraduate research and essentially map out where they want their career to lead them during their time at the University, as well as post-graduation.

The idea for the project started four years ago with a team of LAS faculty members, including Associate Dean for Student Academic Affairs Barbara Hancin-Bhatt.

“We had to figure out how to empower students to adopt those lifelong career management skills,” Hancin-Bhatt said. This lab is the first of its kind and is distinct from the Career Center, due to its specific LAS connections.” 

Elisabeth Neely
College of LAS sets to open a new career lab to help undergraduates with internships, peer advising, computer and printer access, and more. The Life + Career Design Lab is set to open Oct. 2 in room 2040 in Lincoln Hall.

The Lab will consist of six undergraduate interns equipped with experience and resources to help guide students toward career management and development.

The project’s purpose is to offer experiential learning outside of the classroom in addition to framing students’ work in the classroom to a larger world context. The Lab will also provide career-oriented workshops.

With “design thinking” in mind, Erin Dittmer, LAS instructor and leadership and career development specialist, said LAS hopes to apply innovative design methods to give students the ability to design for themselves a career plan, whether that involves undergraduate research, language development or job opportunities.

The Lab is set to open Oct. 2 and will be located on the second floor of Lincoln Hall. It offers walk-in visits Monday through Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. where students are free to explore and ask questions about a wide range of topics that each undergraduate intern has personal experience in.

“(The lab) is also about personal and individual growth,” Vanessa Garcia, undergraduate intern and senior in LAS, said.

The six undergraduate interns have undergone five weeks of training as well as a competitive application process, preparing themselves to assist students of any level.

“Our goal is making sure every LAS student who walks out of here has a very clear destination of where they’re going once they graduate,” Hancin-Bhatt said. “Whether it’s professional school, graduate school or a job. We want everyone to know what that next step looks like.”

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