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New Douglass Campus initiative assists Rutgers students with academic careers

<p>Courtesy of the BOLD Center | A recent initiative by the Douglass Residential College aims to help students with professional development by offering mentoring programs, resume critiques and other facilities.</p>

Courtesy of the BOLD Center | A recent initiative by the Douglass Residential College aims to help students with professional development by offering mentoring programs, resume critiques and other facilities.

Douglass students now have help to get ahead in both their personal and professional life, with a new enterprise called the The Building Opportunities for Leadership and Development (BOLD) Center on Douglass Campus.

The inspiration for the center came from vocal students who spoke about their desire for professional development, said Leslie Danehy, assistant dean and executive director of the BOLD Center.

“The initiatives we are offering through BOLD already existed but now it is streamlined and repackaged,” she said.

BOLD offers programs such as mentoring, resume critiquing, externships, weekly sessions and workshops.

Mentoring is crucial because Rutgers is large, and it is often difficult for students to get assistance with their majors, said Rebecca Reynolds, assistant dean at the Douglass Residential College.

“We have a holistic approach where we talk to students about everything they are interested in and link them to opportunities on campus and elsewhere," she said.

Currently, there are 17 in-house Douglass staff members who serve as mentors to students, according to its website.

“There are walk-in hours for career support and resume critiquing every Friday for students,” Danehy said.

There are also local internships available, as well as various externships offered in California and Washington D.C., she said.

The strategic plan focus is to enable students to come up with solutions to 21st century challenges, said Margot Baruch, director of Global Engagement.

"This is the thread throughout all our programs here," she said.

There are opportunities available to students for public leadership and politics. The Public Leadership Education Network will connect students with politicians in Trenton and Washington D.C., she said. 

“There are various seminars throughout the year on policy-making and STEM,” Baruch said. “We offer scholarships for students to attend these seminars.”

The PLEN Trenton Summer Research Stipend is offered to students and gives them an experience of working as a woman in politics, she said. The program provides students with a global perspective and enhances their abilities to come up with solutions to 21st century challenges.

The main goal of BOLD is to help students “Lead Well, Work Well and Live Well."

“We want to help our students live their life by design and not by default,” she said. “We look at their lives holistically.”

BOLD is planning on holding workshops on mindfulness and emotional intelligence and will talk to students about living an integrated life with an eye for the 21st century, Reynolds said.

“We are open to students coming in and telling us what they want,” Danehy said. “We are planning to take over the Katzenbach Wellness Program.”

Other programs focus on community and global engagement, such as the partnership with New Brunswick Domestic Violence Awareness Coalition.

“Douglass students play a key role in both the preparation and execution of a rally in New Brunswick,” Baruch said.

Douglass also has the first U.S. college chapter of Friends of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which raises funds for children and does local work for women shelters.

“This provides students with a global exposure and gives them an opportunity to see policy and development in action, not just sit in class and talk about it,” she said.

Students can involve themselves in more than 20 clubs on campus.

“We are starting a running club soon and have connections to other groups like the Douglass Big Little Program, She’s the First and Douglass Governing Council,” Reynolds said.

BOLD is an opportunity for first-year students to become involved in a small community before jumping into a big department, said Nicole Ramos, a School of Environmental and Biological Sciences senior.

“You go to events that are professional and the weekly informal discussions help you learn a lot,” she said.

Ria is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in genetics and minoring in psychology. She is a staff writer for The Daily Targum. You can find her on Twitter @riarungta.

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