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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Changes launch in The Space

From+left%2C+Tyler+Senecal+and+Lee+Smith+pose+in+front+of+The+Space%2C+which+is+open+to+all+students+at+all+hours.+
From left, Tyler Senecal and Lee Smith pose in front of The Space, which is open to all students at all hours.

By: Addie Lawrence, Editor

Staff has shifted at The Space as the career services center welcomes two new team members on board. Openings became available after three team members– Scott Cochran, Jeremy Boeh and Kelly French – left The Space prior to the fall 2015 semester.

Cochran, former director of The Space and current senior director of client development at Milliken, finds and develops new markets. Despite the newest item on his resume, he hasn’t forgotten The Space.

“I hope that The Space continues innovating in Higher Ed,” Cochran says. “I think the biggest risk is to become a traditional career services only program. I don’t think that’s in the best interest of the students.”

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According to Jennifer Dillenger, interim director of The Space, changes are coming. The Space, she says, will focus on two areas of interest: one-on-one career coaching and project-based experiences. Additionally, activities that were once reserved for specific class years, such as the Sophomore Experience, will no longer be restricted.

“What we’ve realized is we’re pigeon-holing people into their class year and that people are at different places in their development,” Dillenger says. “So we’re re-designing and re-thinking those experiences to not be class-specific but to be subject-specific.”

With these goals in mind, Dillenger fielded hundreds of applications to find the right fit. She described the two who surfaced – Lee Smith, the new career coach for the freshman and sophomore classes, and Tyler Senecal, the new assistant director of impact and launch – as“phenomenal.”

“I think they’re bringing new eyes to Wofford and the programs that are currently offered,” Dillenger says. “They’ll bring a freshness in and an excitement for starting new things or re-invigorating older things. Their areas of expertise are definitely in relationship-building and coaching.”

Smith, a University of South Carolina graduate, started college with an interest in radiology. Four years later, he graduated with a major in history and a concentration in education.

“So far as college, I had to figure things out on my own,” Smith says. “If it wasn’t for several individuals within the community, I would have been lost.”

“Even as a freshman, you’re still learning who you are. So, as you grow and develop, you become more interested in different things, you meet different people – that kind of shapes your whole perspective,” he adds.

Smith worked as the assistant coordinator for district seven of Spartanburg’s McKinney-Vento program, a program connecting homeless youth with shelter and food. Smith says his time with McKinney-Vento has helped him to work within an outline, where he can be flexible within a set of rules.

“We’d know that all of our families were transitional or homeless. In this situation, I know all the students are either freshman or sophomores, so I have that outline. Now, what’s inside that outline will change depending on the situation.”

Senecal says his past work also lends itself to his current position. Having started his own video marketing business, LeftFoot Media, Senecal will work with students who want to start a business for themselves.

“A year and a half ago I was in their shoes,” he says. “I was starting a business from scratch, so all the processes they’re going through, all the late nights, the headaches – I’ve been through it myself.”

“Whether it’s someone who’s looking for a great resume builder or someone who wants to take their business and run with it after college, my goal is to make them as successful as possible,” he says.

As the new team members settle into their positions, Cochran reminisces.

“I learned a tremendous amount at Wofford,” he says. “From an entrepreneurial standpoint, we got to build The Space from nothing. I think people forget, when we first got to Wofford, it was a traditional – and I’ll call it tired – career services office.”

Cochran says he plans to stay in touch with the Wofford community, as he still enjoys lunches with his former colleagues and gives advice to students seeking help.

In regards to the new staff, Dillenger says: “Change is inevitable. We know they’ll be just as much of service to the student body as any who came before.”

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