Q & A With Campus Partners

The Q & A with Campus Partners series is designed to connect faculty with personnel and offices on campus in order to better serve Belmont’s students. This installment features Mary Claire Dismukes from the Office of Career & Professional Development.

What is your title and how long have you been at Belmont?
I am the Director of the Office of Career & Professional Development and have been at Belmont since August 2016.

What brought you to Belmont?
I was drawn to Belmont for its mission–a student-centered Christian community providing an academically challenging education that empowers men and women of diverse backgrounds to engage and transform the world with disciplined intelligence, compassion, courage and faith. I believe that every person deserves to discover and realize their God-given potential and that belief has guided me throughout my career in higher education.   The last 13 years have been specifically focused in career development at both public and private, faith-based universities.  I have a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Temple University and am licensed by the state of Pennsylvania as a Professional Counselor. I am also certified by the National Career Development Association as a Global Career Development Facilitator. I grew up in the college town of Gainesville, FL and received my bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina.  Though my career took me to Philadelphia, PA for most of my professional life, I am thrilled to be back in the south and call Nashville home.

What do you do in your role as Director of the Office of Career & Professional Development?
As director, I lead a team of 6 professional staff and four student assistants and provide the strategic direction of the office.  Our three-part vision includes: focused engagement with students and graduates, strengthened partnerships and relationships with faculty and employers and utilizing technology to better serve our constituents.

How does your office serve Belmont’s students?
We operate in Career Clusters and each major has a dedicated career development specialist. Each specialist focuses outreach efforts, programming, and appointments with students interested in a specific industry while cultivating and maintaining employer relationships in those areas.

In what ways do (or can) faculty partner with your office?
Last fall 2500+ students were reached during classroom presentations. We welcome the opportunity to engage with your students and can provide a custom presentation on a variety of career-related topics. Our Belmont & Beyond series focuses on career management, financial literacy, and industry-specific networking opportunities for all students and we are always looking for partners.  You can help us spread the word by including us in your syllabus. Does your inbox get flooded with internship and job opportunities from employers?  Let us help you with employer relationship management. We will follow up with any employer contacts/opportunities you refer, keeping you in the loop throughout, and assist employers with posting in Handshake, our university recruiting platform. We also invite you to attend our annual Career Fair and networking events on campus to build relationships with employers.

What would you like faculty to know about the Office of Career and Professional Development?
We are cosponsoring a Teaching Center Luncheon on February 15th focused on Embedding Career Readiness in the Classroom. Join us for a lunch discussion to learn more about how employers rate our graduates—and how that differs from their self-perception. Engage in dialogue with faculty colleagues and discover strategies for developing students’ collaboration, communication, creativity, problem solving, professionalism, global fluency and leadership skills in the classroom.  Panelists include: Jeremy Fyke, Communication Studies; Ryan Fox, Mathematics Education; Jeff Overby, International Business; Catherine Graham, Honors; Adrianne Archie, Student Affairs; Lori LeBleu and Chris Agans, Massey College of Business Career Development Center.

As leaders in career development, we aspire to make a difference in the lives of others by providing our community with meaningful connections in a global environment.  We value our faculty colleagues and the important contribution you are making in the lives of our students and greater campus community.