Campus Spotlight: The Office of Career and Professional Development

“Career cannot be optional. It has to be integrated in the academic experience,” Glenn Gibney, Director of the Office of Career and Professional Development, said.


Glenn Gibney, Director of the Office of Career and Professional Development

This week’s campus spotlight will focus on the Office of Career and Professional Development, or OCPD, for short. This office specializes in getting Georgia Southern students ready for the next step in their professional journey, whether that’s through furthering their education at graduate school or entering the workforce with a full-time job.

With a team of 15 dedicated staff members on both the Armstrong and Statesboro campuses, students are likely to leave the office with more knowledge about career development than they had before.

Gibney, who spent 30 years in the business world before coming to Armstrong, says that the key to the OCPD is personalized service.

“We connect students with employers through career fairs, on-campus and virtual networking events, and alumni mentoring. Our team also teaches two academic courses around topics of career and professional development. Our job is to get students ready for life after college.”

By simply scheduling a meeting with someone at the OCPD or going to a networking event, students are actively gaining experience that employers look for.

The OCPD has changed significantly since Gibney’s arrival to the Armstrong campus six years ago. “We were literally in a small office underneath the staircase in the MCC. I had the opportunity to work with the president (of Armstrong Atlantic State University) at the time and put together a business plan, and she gave us funding to build our current location in Solms Hall.”

To Gibney, however, the most important change that their office has made has been the increase in their visibility to students, which in turn has elevated the importance of career services.

The spread of COVID-19 has had both a positive and negative impact on the OCPD. With the spread of COVID-19 as active as ever, the impact on the Office of Career and Professional Development has been both positive and negative. Before 2020, the OCPD was actively seeing students in-person and connecting them with employers face to face; since it’s traditionally much easier to make a connection that way.

When COVID-19 began, the OCPD had to make a switch to virtual career fairs and gained a positive impact because staff had become proficient at using technology to bring students and employers together. However, the OCPD also had fewer students attending these events. “…employers were frustrated that there were not enough students to meet with.”

Currently, the OCPD is back to having face-to-face events but are continuing to utilize virtual events and career fairs in order to better serve students and expand their reach to employers outside of Georgia.

To get involved with the Office of Career and Professional Development, students at Armstrong can visit Solms Hall 104 or make an appointment to meet with their staff through the OCPD website.

The OCPD will be hosting a STEM Virtual Career Fair this Thursday, Feb. 3rd at 11 a.m.