Q&A with Dana Hamdan, Executive Director of the Career Development Center
Dana Hamdan was appointed executive director of the Career Development Center, beginning in the 2019-2020 academic year. In this role, Hamdan manages the ongoing advancement and implementation of programming and outreach initiatives for Oberlin students as they explore various career paths.
Learn more about Hamdan in this Q&A.
You were recently appointed as executive director of the Career Development Center—congratulations! What do you see as your primary focus?
I want to stay focused on helping students explore careers and prepare for their professional life after Oberlin. This means making useful and exciting resources and programs available to students. The key is to make sure that their first professional destination after Oberlin is meaningful. I also want to support our talented staff and make sure that the Career Development Center is collaborating effectively with the College of Arts and Sciences and the Conservatory. It’s all about being in every Oberlin student’s corner, helping them design meaningful, purposeful, and fulfilling lives.
What are you most looking forward to in your position as executive director of the Career Development Center?
I most look forward to collaborating with my colleagues, alumni, and parents to set in motion the One Oberlin vision for the Career Development Center. I am especially eager to work with our staff, who are often affectionately referred to by our colleagues as “the dream team.”
What were some of the past experiences or collaborations you've been a part of at Oberlin?
At Oberlin, I have been fortunate to work with students, faculty, and staff from across the institution, especially on the Peer Advising Leaders (PAL) program, Sophomore Opportunities & Academic Resources (SOAR), and Career Communities. This collaboration has been very rewarding, as our shared goal is integrating the educational work of the classroom with experiential learning in the co-curriculum. I want to continue and deepen this educational collaboration.
What's the most useful career advice you've ever been given?
Never settle, and plan, plan, plan!
What do you think students might not realize about the Career Development Center that you'd like them to know?
Planning for your future is also about the present. Contemplating your professional interests and talents and thinking about a sense of purpose in your career will help you launch successfully beyond Oberlin. Doing this will also help you get more out of your coursework, your co-curricular activities, your winter terms, and your summer opportunities while you’re at Oberlin. This is where the Career Development Center can support students’ journeys.