Hegi Career Center Honored for Efficiency

August 24, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Liz Collinsworth
lcollinswo@smu.edu

The SMU Hegi Family Career Development Center has been chosen as an August 2010 Model of Efficiency honoree by University Business magazine for the vast reformation of the center’s student job search tool.

Managing editor for University Business, Melissa Ezarik, says Hegi’s transition to an automated system has saved both money in supplies and in wasted staff time.

Ezarik claims that as a “Model of Efficiency,” the career center isn’t just doing more with less, but doing it better.

“It’s a great example of how implementing technology along with new business processes can save time and money- and benefit students and alumni,” said Ezarik.

University Business magazine launched the “Models of Efficiency” program in January of 2010 to recognize innovative efforts at campus administrative offices that replace yesterday’s resource-draining, time-consuming practices.

After two rounds of judging the magazine selected 14 honorees for the Models of Efficiency award. The career center was nominated by colleagues in the industry and compared against competing schools in a rigorous elimination process.

Once selected as a nominee, candidates presented data to the magazine verifying how they have become more efficient, how the improvements saved resources and how their offices now provide better service to students.

“The efficiency improvement must be something other colleges and universities can replicate for their own campuses,” said Ezarik. “The entries are judged by both University Business editors and campus administrators.”

The Hegi Career Center boasts its new and modern approach to aiding students in finding jobs. According to Troy Behrens, executive director of the Hegi Career Center, since the development of SaddleUp, nearly 6,000 students and alumni have completed the online orientation.

“In the past, less than a handful of students would attend our ‘bricks and mortar’ orientations,” said Behrens.

Aside from increasing productivity, SMU’s automated job posting system, SaddleUp, has shed a new light on the power of efficiency.

Behrens says the program has increased both the number of student and alumni registrations with the career center, as well as decreased the time it takes for employers to post jobs and for students to find and apply for a position.

The career center’s previous job search strategy took an average of six weeks for a new posting to be visible to students, whereas the new system takes an average of six seconds.

Ezarik said that SMU stood out among the other nominees due to it’s ability to provide evidence of success both quantitatively and qualitatively.

“[Hegi] department leaders took their effort seriously,” said Ezarik.

Behrens believes that there are other departments on campus that are deserving of the honor as well, and that University Business has set a precedent for other educational facilities to create “Models of Efficiency” with its nationwide search.

“It is nice to be recognized, but we have more models of efficiency to create,” said Behrens.

Keep track of upcoming programs and events offered through SMU’s very own “Model of Efficiency” here.