By Toby White
Though impressive resumés abound at the University of Calgary’s Career Services office, new director Craig Fortner is well qualified to provide a full facelift.
Students can expect changes in the Career Services office under Fortner’s guidance. Because Career Services is currently located in the Kinesiology building, many students are not aware of the services they offer. Fortner wants to remedy this by increasing awareness of the programs provided.
"We’re aware of some of the problems with our location," said Fortner. "Our services are good but students need to be aware they are there. We need a more evident profile for Career Services."
Fortner plans to raise the office’s profile by sending career consultants into various faculties to meet with students and understand their needs.
As he explains, the career market is
constantly changing, affected by an increasing emphasis on technology and the global marketplace. By interacting with students to a greater extent, Fortner hopes to better meet the needs students and employers.
"We need to get out there and be visible," he stated. "There’s a lot of competition and students need to differentiate themselves from everyone else."
Fortner’s past experience includes positions at Nortel Networks, KPMG Canada, PetroCanada and in all levels of government. He took the reins as director in May and has held human resource positions in both the corporate and public sectors. Fortner has also lectured at the University of Alberta, though no one will hold that against him.
Fortner moved to the U of C for both personal and professional reasons.
"I wanted to work in Calgary," he explained. "I’m originally from [Calgary] and I have a son who lives here. I was working in human resources and was looking for something that was related, but different. I like the environment at the U of C and I wanted to help students."
Fortner’s experience in the private sector and knowledge of the Calgary community provide him with a unique perspective on the Career Services Director position.
"I know the marketplace and the environment," he said. "I want to put services in place that give our students a competitive advantage."
Fortner believes that U of C should be a place where students develop their potential as future leaders, and adds that Career Services has an important role to play in that development.