Hegi Family Career Development Center

Student career-management leader Crystal Clayton named executive director of SMU’s Hegi Family Career Development Center

Crystal ClaytonCrystal Clayton, a career-management professional with more than 20 years of experience working with graduate and undergraduate students, has been named executive director of SMU’s Hegi Family Career Development Center. She will begin her new duties on Aug. 28, 2017.

Clayton was selected after a competitive national search coordinated by a campus committee chaired by Stephen Rankin, associate dean of students and chaplain.

“Crystal has built a stellar reputation as a student mentor and a leader in professional development,” said K.C. Mmeje, SMU vice president for student affairs. “In addition, her deep connections in the Texas and Oklahoma business communities are a built-in regional advantage for current and future SMU students, especially as they plan internships and post-college careers. We welcome her to the Hilltop and look forward to sharing her expertise with both undergraduate and graduate students at SMU.”

SMU trustee Fred Hegi ’66, who in 2001 joined with his wife, Jan ’66, along with their family in providing the lead gift for a $3 million endowment and expansion of SMU’s career center, said Clayton is well prepared to help students. “She is the person we were looking for,” he said. “Her experience, combined with her passion for helping students and graduates find their career paths, make her a tremendous asset for SMU. With her leadership, we will continue our path to be one of the nation’s top five career centers.”

As director of the JCPenney Leadership Center and an adjunct management instructor in the University of Oklahoma’s Price College of Business, Clayton works with students, staff and faculty to create and implement several successful career and professional development initiatives and events. She leads the Center’s work in alumni and corporate relations, recruitment and admissions, career counseling, professional development programs, program assessment, and partnership development, among many other areas.

In addition, Clayton leads the Center’s Alumni and Student Advisory Boards and Faculty Committee and serves on the OU Writing Center Advisory Board. She created, developed, and launched a Board Fellows Program for leadership associates, which allows students to serve as nonprofit board members. She founded, organized, and led the Center’s Peer Training Team, initiated an alumni career conference in Price College of Business, and helped reboot OU’s Women in Business Leadership Conference. She also designed and taught leadership courses and programs for Price College, including a minor in leadership.

Previously, Clayton served as director of student services and associate director for career management with the Full-Time MBA Program in Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business. In progressively more responsible roles, she counseled students on networking, résumé and cover-letter writing, successful interviewing, career selection, and job-search strategies, among other career-related topics. She advised student leadership for more than 30 Jones School organizations, as well as initiated and developed an MBA team mentoring program. In addition, she was sponsor of the Rice Chapter of the National Association of Women MBAs, served on the Jones School Corporate Advisory Board, and participated on the Jones School E-Learning Committee.

Clayton’s professional recognitions include a 2015 Students’ Choice Staff Appreciation Award and a 2013-14 Dean’s Excellence Award for Professional Staff from OU. Currently, she serves on the executive committee of the University of Missouri-Columbia’s Griffiths Leadership Society for Women. From 2009 to 2012, she served as a board member of the American College Personnel Association’s Commission for Career Development.

A native of St. Louis, Clayton received her B.A. degree in English from Truman State University. She earned an M.A. in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and an Ed.D. degree in educational leadership and higher education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

> Visit the Hegi Family Career Development Center online: smu.edu/career

Save the date: Just in Time Career Fair scheduled for April 12, 2016

careerfairMark your calendars for the last Career Fair Event of the school year, sponsored by the Hegi Family Career Development Center. The event will take place on Tuesday, April 12 from 3-5 p.m. in  the Hughes-Trigg Ballrooms.

This event is the last in a set of career fairs offered to SMU students this academic year. At the events, students will be able to network with employers who are recruiting students for both their full-time and internship opportunities.

Just like the previous fairs, students should come prepared with resumes printed and research completed. In the meantime, students are encourage to utilize the services offered at the Hegi Center that will help prepare them for the event.

Students prepare for SMU Career and Internship Fair, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016

CareerFairPic1At the Spring 2016 Career and Internship Fair on Thursday, Feb. 18, students will have the opportunity to network with over 75 companies, including Southwest Airlines, Peace Corps, EY, Epsilon and Sendero. Sponsored by the SMU Hegi Family Career Development Center, the fair is set for 4 to 7 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballrooms.

“Networking is such an integral part of the job process, and this event provides students of all majors with an open forum to do so on a larger scale,” says Regina James, associate director of the Hegi Career Center. “The Career Fair is a recruiting, networking and educational event, and we look forward to students taking advantage of that opportunity.”

  • Watch a Mustang Minute! video of the February 2015 Career and Internship Fair by Myles Taylor of SMU News.

Hegi Career Center counselors encourage students to view the Career Fair as their first job interview and to be prepared. Here are their tips to being a top candidate:

  • Attend drop-in hours at the Career Center from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and have a counselor review your resume. Bring plenty of copies of your resume to the Career Fair.
  • While you’re at the Career Center, you can take assessments to identify your values, interests, personality and skills.
  • Do your research. Review the list of participating employers, and learn more about the ones that interest you.
  • Download the new SMU Career Fair + app on Google Play or Apple Store to get up-to-date information about the fair and participating employers.

SMU students who serve as Career Development Ambassadors for the Hegi Career Center also have advice for students about the fair:

  • “The Career Fair can be crowded, loud and overwhelming. Make the most of it by preparing a resume and elevator pitch before attending.” – Katie Anderson
  • “Show your interest, and make a genuine connection. Collect a business card, and send a follow-up within 24 hours. Do this, and the recruiter will remember you when you turn in an application. Remember, a job search is a full-time job for some people. Put in the time to do it right, and you will be rewarded.” – Justin Wolfe

– Hena Rafiq

Learn more about social entrepreneurship at the 2015 SMU Social Innovation Forum Tuesday, April 7

SMU Social Innovation Forum 2015SMU will host an opportunity to learn from and network with experts in social entrepreneurship at its 4th annual Social Innovation Forum and Expo from 2-4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 7 in the Owen Arts Center.

The event, presented by SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and Hegi Family Career Development Center, will feature two panel discussions with a dozen experts who are developing solutions to pressing social issues. The panels will be led by Trey Bowles, adjunct lecturer at the Meadows School and co-founder and CEO of The Dallas Entrepreneur Center.

Panelists will include representatives from the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Warby Parker, Hari Mari, Social Impact Architects and other leading Dallas organizations and social entrepreneurs.

The discussions will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. in O’Donnell Hall, 2130 Owen Arts Center, followed by a networking reception and Social Impact Expo from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Bob Hope Theatre lobby.

The expo, which is co-sponsored by SMU’s Engaged Learning office, will allow participants to network with panelists, visit with social enterprises, entrepreneurs and nonprofits in the DFW region, sample products, and learn about jobs, internships and volunteer opportunities that have a positive impact on the community. Expo participants include Goodwill Industries, CitySquare Americorps, Akola Project and many others.

Admission is free; advance registration is requested. Social Innovation Forum attendees can register online.

For more information, contact Abigail Smith, 214-768-3425.

Students can make connections at Spring 2014 Career and Internship Fair

SMU students will have the opportunity to connect with 117 companies and more than 225 employer representatives at the University’s Spring 2014 Career and Internship Fair Monday, Feb. 24. Employers attending include the U.S. Department of Labor, Neiman Marcus, Peace Corps, McAfee Inc., American Airlines, KPMG, Citi, Ernst and Young, Deliotte, JCPenney and many others.

Sponsored by SMU’s Hegi Family Career Development Center, the fair takes place noon to 4 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center.

Darin Ford, director of the Hegi Career Center, says the event can open a variety of doors for students, whether it is their first semester or their last. “For the first time, we have partnered with eight SMU graduate school departments who will be in attendance recruiting students for graduate school opportunities on the Hilltop,” he says.

“Be prepared,” he adds. “Students who do their research always stand out above the rest.”

> Watch a video of the February 2013 Career and Internship Fair by Myles Taylor of SMU News video

To prepare for the fair, Hegi Career Center counselors suggest:

  • Dress for success by wearing professional business attire;
  • Print out and bring multiple copies of your résumé for the opportunity to network with multiple companies;
  • Research the companies that will be in attendance and choose the ones that interest you most;
  • Come early to meet with “fresh and ready” recruiters.

The center offers students and alumni multiple resources in addition to the biannual fair, including:

  • One-on-one meetings with counselors, career assessments and a four-year plan;
  • Discussions with industry panels composed of employers who provide professional advice;
  • Workshops on interviewing, résumés and other career skills;
  • MustangTRAK, an online database featuring hundreds of jobs and internships, and UCAN, or University Career Action Network, a shared internship database among universities across the country.

Alumni are invited to share their career expertise and mentor SMU students. Learn more at SMU Connection.

Written by Sarah Hanan

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