Career Services

Career Services director presents to national organization on successful Career Ambassador Program

Career Services, careers, NACE, career ambassador

icon of a calendarSeptember 29, 2020

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Career Services director presents to national organization on successful Career Ambassador Program
Kelly Dorner during her presentation about OU's Career Ambassador Program at the NACE conference earlier this month.

Kelly Dorner, director of OU’s Career Services, was selected to present at the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) virtual webinar this month about OU’s nationally recognized Career Ambassador Program. Dorner shared her expertise and details of OU’s renowned program through her talk entitled “Recruit, Train, & Evaluate Peer Career Educators.”

“Kelly has done an outstanding job leading our Career Ambassador (Peer Educator) Program,” said Wayne Thibodeau, senior director of Career Services. “Especially during a pandemic, it is more important than ever to recruit and build a team of highly trained ambassadors to deliver high-impact services.”

Oakland University’s Career Services is one of the top bench-marked programs in the country and is home to a diverse group of top-tier student leaders who are selected to uphold the prestigious role of being a Career Ambassador. Along with Career Consultants, these ambassadors are on the front lines supporting individual students’ vast career readiness needs.

Career Ambassadors meet with students one on one and facilitate presentations to student organizations, housing leaders and various student leader groups across campus.  Beyond this, the Career Ambassadors’ primary function is to oversee the interactive Career Studio Lab.  Students can drop-in to the Career Studio as the inspiration strikes them and stay as long as they would like to work on resumes and cover letters, utilize the Handshake platform, explore social media, and more. 

This fall OU Career Ambassadors have pivoted to supplement in-person offerings with virtual options for the Career Studio, appointments, and presentations.

In the past four years, the Career Ambassador Program has undergone a complete transformation that will help current and future ambassadors build NACE-designated competencies in areas such as innovation, creativity and technology, critical thinking and problem solving, communication and listening, diversity and inclusion, teamwork and collaboration, leadership, professionalism and work ethic and career management.

“The transformation of our recruitment, training and evaluation processes has increased our diversity of candidates and elevated the talent and caliber of student leader we attract,” Dorner said. “Furthermore, the program allows our ambassadors to build meaningful connections with fellow students, campus departments and employers, while intentionally encouraging them to self-evaluate, set goals and build upon their own career readiness.”

Thibodeau added, “I am proud of the research and commitment Kelly has made to develop a solid program built on NACE competencies. This program could be a great asset to more supervisors of students all across campus. If you are a campus leader working with students, or a student who is interested in learning more about becoming a Career Ambassador, please contact our department to learn more.”

About NACE:

Established in 1956, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) is a professional association that connects over 9,400 college career services professionals; over 3,200 university relations and recruiting professionals; and over 300 business solution providers that serve this community. NACE is the leading source of information on the employment of the college educated, and forecasts hiring and trends in the job market; tracks starting salaries, recruiting and hiring practices, and student attitudes and outcomes; and identifies best practices and benchmarks.

What is a Career Ambassador?

Career Ambassadors (CAs) are Oakland University undergraduate students who help other students and alumni with career-related tasks. They lead OU’s Career Studio as well as take individual appointments in the Career Services office. CAs also represent the Career Services office on campus by promoting various career-related events, assisting with these events, and delivering classroom presentations. CAs are an essential part of the Career Services team, helping over 800 students/alumni each semester.

When do Career Ambassadors work?

CAs generally work set weekly hours between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. during the week, but are also given opportunities to work in the evenings and weekends for special presentations and events.

What are the Career Ambassadors qualifications?

    • Available to work at least two consecutive semesters 
    • Work 9-15 hours per week in the Career Services office
    • Comfortable with a diverse student population in group and individual settings 
    • Have strong presentation skills 
    • Able to work effectively as a member of a team and as individuals 
    • Possess strong oral and written communication skills 
    • Detail-orientated and demonstrate strong customer service skills 
    • Demonstrate a strong ability to exercise independent thinking and strong problem-solving skills 
    • Interested in helping their peers through career guidance utilizing resources, creativity and offering advice


Learn more about Career Services and get plugged into upcoming events at these links:

  • First-time Career Services visitors are encouraged to make an appointment with a Career Ambassador. Returning visitors can make an appointment with a Career Consultant: 
  • Register for the Fall Virtual Career Fair:
  • Register for the Fall Virtual Engineering/IT Career Fair:
  • Take advantage of a business attire discount by registering for the Suit up with JCPenney event:
  • Check out our Career Services Handshake Resource Library:

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