Emma Hillman '16 prepped for her interview with Lehigh Alum Michelle Larson '11 on Friday, Oct. 3 2014 in the Career Services Office. Career Services provides students seeking an internship or full-time job to interview with a variety of companies in their field. (Emily May/B&W photo)

LUCIE revamps, limitations remain


The newly revamped LUCIE system from Career Services provides valuable resources through a modernized platform but may pose a limited reach for some students dependent on their college of discipline.

LUCIE has undergone many changes since last summer, but a driving force behind those changes is the fact that it is now offered through a different vendor in the career services field called Symplicity.

“We’re focusing on how to use technology in new ways and how technology can help us to better reach students,” said Lori Kennedy, director of Career Services.

There were several different reasons that drove the decision to replace the previous LUCIE system. Kennedy said feedback from students indicated that the old system was outdated and lacking functionality and that technology was not being leveraged to the benefit of students and employers. On top of those reasons, the vendor that LUCIE previously worked with went bankrupt in May.

Many changes have come with the switch to running LUCIE on Symplicity. The new LUCIE allows students to use the functions of the old LUCIE, such as signing up for interviews on their phones. LUCIE also provides more job postings via access to a larger network, the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

“We’re receiving very positive feedback, and students are picking up the system very quickly,” Kennedy said. “Next year, Symplicity will launch a career fair app, which will streamline the career fair for students and employers.”

However, some students have voiced concerns about the new system.

“The new LUCIE is confusing because it’s new, but it’s definitely more user-friendly and ‘modern,’ so I think it’ll be a lot simpler to use once I get used to it,” Christina Diana, ’16, said.

If students are having trouble understanding the LUCIE system, Career Services can help through many different types of support. There are workshops, career ambassadors and student workers, all of which serve as resources to students.

Serge Pires da Motta Veiga, an assistant professor of management, works heavily with Career Services to conduct research on the student job search process. He said he previously worked at the University of Missouri and was amazed when he realized the amount of opportunities offered to Lehigh students.

“Surprisingly, though, there was a wider range of choices Missouri would make, whereas Lehigh students are very focused on certain companies and industries,” Pires da Motta Veiga said. “Don’t close any doors, explore many opportunities, remain curious and have an open mind. It is not all about the Big 4 and investment banks.”

Career Services offers a vast variety of other services, said Nadine Elsayed, ’18, who works in the Career Services office. Career Services has offerings for students of any year or major, she said. Students are given the opportunity to meet with counselors from each of the colleges to determine a major, take assessments to explore career choices, review their resumes, practice for interviews and network at career fairs.

“I’ve only worked at Career Services for about a month, yet I absolutely love it already,” Elsayed said. “Everyone in the office really has a passion for helping students succeed.”

Elsayed said she, her sister and brother have attended or attend Lehigh, and each has found it key to use the resources offered by Career Services. Heba Elsayed, ’15, said she’s certainly exhausted the services at Career Services. She regularly schedules appointments to have her resume and cover letter reviewed, attends career fairs, used LUCIE to obtain her internship last summer and said she has benefited greatly from the different resources in the office.

Not all students share the Elsayeds’ opinion, however.

“When you look at the website as a whole, it looks full with lots of opportunities, but when you look and look and look, there is almost nothing for arts and sciences [students],” said one student, an international relations and art history double major. “If they are going to skew Career Services so much toward engineering and business, there should be a separate one for arts and sciences.”

Kennedy said it is important for students enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences to create an individual action plan. The timing and vehicles for recruitment of arts and sciences students vastly differ from recruitment of engineering and business students, she said.

For business and engineering students, recruitment occurs earlier in the fall semester. For arts and sciences students, the job search will intensify during late fall and throughout the spring semester, Kennedy said. She said business and engineering students tend to work for corporations, which do on-campus recruiting and have budgets to hire a large number of students. Companies that tend to hire students from arts and sciences majors practice just-in-time hiring and don’t do as much on-campus recruiting.

Students with certain majors, like accounting, can rely on on-campus recruiting, but others will need to implement multiple search strategies, including LinkedIn, identifying niche job sites and using LUCIE.

All students need to be proactive in the job search, but arts and sciences students need to be especially proactive. Counseling appointments aren’t as broadly advocated as career fairs, but Kennedy said she is equally proud of the work they do in one-on-one counseling appointments as in career fairs.

“Arts and sciences students need to take advantage of the skill and of the counseling team available,” Kennedy said.

According to her, the advantage of the job search process for arts and sciences students is that they are learning how to conduct a real-world job search.

“They are learning and implementing the skills during senior year,” Kennedy said. “Students who use on-campus recruiting to find a position, when they make their next career move two to four years later, may have difficulty with job searching because they haven’t implemented the job search strategies yet.”

Marketability is important for students because finding a job without it would be difficult. Merit is a new platform for students to share their involvement and experience at Lehigh, said Lindsay Lebresco, director of Brand and Digital Marketing, University Communications.

“Merit pages provide a great ‘snapshot’ of success that students’ can share with friends, family, alumni connections and even potential employers,” Lebresco said. It is another opportunity for students to launch themselves into a successful post-graduate life, she said.

Lebresco said Merit allows students to set up profiles where they can share ‘achievement’ badges on the site itself and across other social media platforms.

Students can take advantage of Merit by claiming their Merit page, setting up their profiles and adding activities to them. Afterward, when students are recognized for their efforts at Lehigh, such as making the Dean’s List or being awarded research grants, badges will automatically be added to the their profiles.

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