Reinventing Career Services in
Liberal Arts Schools

Given the rapidly shifting demand for skilled talent in today’s workplace, the current higher education system isn’t sustainable for many graduates who are leaving school loaded with debt, without the ability to promote themselves in a hyper-competitive job market. Progressive leaders in higher education recognize this is a strategic issue for their institutions. We work with college presidents, provosts, university deans and career center directors to reinvent a school’s approach to preparing liberal arts students for post-college life.

Career Services for the 21st Century

Higher ed leaders at liberal arts colleges and universities face common problems as they work to establish career services that meet the needs of today’s students. Typical challenges include:

  • Demonstrating how a liberal arts education offers skills that are valuable throughout the graduate’s career.
  • Getting buy in from the broader academic community on the need to respond to the changing economic environment.
  • Identifying cost effective, high impact solutions for improving personal and career development.
  • Engaging faculty, parents and alumni in new career initiatives.

Dr. David DeLong works with college and university administrators to identify and implement meaningful changes through:

  • Keynote presentations
  • Executive briefings
  • Consultations
  • Retreats
  • Workshops
  • Coaching
  • Benchmarking

Services Include


The quality of student personal and career development has become a strategic issue for higher ed leaders. But administrators need a framework and process for defining and implementing new strategies for career services. Diagnostic interviews, benchmarking research and workshops or executive briefings will produce a customized strategic planning process for enhancing career services in the institution.

Progressive leaders recognize that career development is no longer the province of one department in their school. Preparing students for careers after college requires the support of many key stakeholders, including faculty, advisors, alumni, and parents. This half-day, highly interactive meeting jump-starts the process of building commitment for a new school-wide effort.

Liberal arts professors often know they need to play an expanded role in supporting students today. But they may have limited experience with the job market themselves. This highly interactive workshop describes the realities of the post-college career paths students face and explores how faculty can help maximize the value of academic work for future job searches without compromising the ideals of a liberal arts education.

Bring innovative ideas to your school faster by accessing research on the latest services and programs being offered by other institutions. Learn from the experiences of others.

Engaging multiple stakeholders in a new career development initiative means anticipating and managing the dynamics of organizational change. We provide hands on, real-time advice and frameworks for successfully managing these changes during customized half-day workshops or through personalized executive coaching.

Why Collaborate with Smart Workforce Strategies

Dr. David DeLong brings unique expertise for creating a more holistic approach to career services to meet the needs of today’s college students and recent graduates:

Select Presentations

All presentations and workshops are customized to address an organization’s needs, goals, participants and budget. Below is just a sampling of recent talks and workshops. Contact Dr. DeLong for information about designing a program for your school.

University of Wisconsin-Madison, College of Letters and Science Career Initiative Retreat: “Graduate to a Great Job: Challenges for L&S Students in Today’s Post-College Job Market.”

Big Ten Alumni Relations and Development Conference, Madison, Wisconsin, “Accelerating Leadership Development and Mentoring Skills: Lessons From the Leading Edge.”

Maine Career Development Association Workshop: "Career Counseling for a Changing Workplace: Lessons From the Leading Edge"

The Arizona Career Development Association Annual Meeting: "Graduate to a Great Job: Helping Students Succeed in Today's Post-College Job Market"

Colby College Parents & Alumni: "Graduate to a Great Job: Help Your Child Thrive in Today's Post-College Job Market"

The University of Maryland Seniors: "From Panic to Paycheck: 5 Keys for Graduating to a Great Job"

Varsity athletes at Bucknell University and Beloit College: "Using Sports for Competitive Advantage in Today's Job Market"

Bucknell University Sophomores and Juniors: "Make Experience Pay Off: How to Maximize the Value of Your Internships"

Penn State Conference for Liberal Arts Majors: "Making Your Humanities Degree Pay Off: Four Keys to a Successful Job Search"

What Others Are Saying

“Dave was an outstanding resource for a key initiative we launched to enhance the career development experiences of our undergraduates. He helped plan and facilitate a retreat to design and build momentum for the initiative. He provided valuable advice following the retreat, persistently posing questions that helped focus our next steps.  In short, Dave added value at each step of the way.”
Dean Karl Scholz
College of Letters & Science, University of Wisconsin – Madison

“David is truly in tune with the challenges and successes faced by today’s college grads. His insights and research have proved valuable to career services professionals in community colleges, universities, and private businesses alike.”
Jennifer Rhodes
President, Arizona Career Development Association


“It was no small task to make a presentation about career paths of recent college graduates to seasoned career counselors with years of campus experience. Even more challenging was being able to elicit “aha moments.”  Dave DeLong did just that.  His passion was palpable, his curiosity infectious and his insights profound. The office was “abuzz” throughout the week.”
Leslie Kohlberg
Director of Letters and Science Career Services, UW-Madison


"David DeLong was the Keynote Presenter at a regional Career Development Association Conference here at Arizona State. Feedback from the group has been stellar. We look forward to working with David again, possibly at a regional or national professional association level!"
Elaine Stover
Director, Arizona State University Career Services