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Sr. Director, Career Development

University of Arizona

Sr. Director, Career Development

University of Arizona



The Sr. Director, Career Development provides vision and leadership to ensure that all University of Arizona students find support to create lives of opportunity aligned with their purpose and values. In particular, the Sr. Director leads a team of 15+ individuals charged with enhancing employer engagement, increasing career-related alumni connections, and expanding capacity of staff, faculty and peers throughout campus to prepare students to confidently connect to career interest networks and successfully apply for experiential learning or job opportunities.


To succeed, the Sr. Director will lead a team of employer outreach specialists, career educators and operations specialists to develop scalable programs that expand reach, increase engagement, enhance student and employer satisfaction, and produce effective outcomes. In particular, this role is focused on the following areas:

  • Engaging  students in digital resources and educational programming based on a “life design” approach to identifying and creating individual career opportunities

  • Engaging employers in recruitment and experiential learning programming

  • Connecting alumni to support student development and recruitment


The Sr. Director currently has a staff of 13 which include Employer & Alumni Engagement staff, Career Educators, and administrative staff. The Sr. Director will effectively collaborate with the Sr. Director, Student Engagement Initiatives to mutually align this work with that leader’s efforts to integrate participation in civic engagement, internships and other high impact experiential learning opportunities into the experience of 100% of Arizona students. 


Reporting to: Assistant Vice President, Access, Engagement and Opportunity


Guide and develop managers leading Design Your Search,  peer-to-peer education, and employer and alumni engagement initiatives toward bold objectives and individual key results that:

  • Continue to evolve our career education model by leveraging peers, platforms and partnerships to integrate career development into the experience of 100% of UA students;

  • Advance a shared and collaborative vision of our LifeLab as physical and digital navigational support that helps students chart a well-informed personal path through key milestones, including self-exploration, experiential learning opportunities and career skills development;

  • Expand employer engagement, both in quantity and breadth of industries and job functions represented in differentiated educational content and in direct recruitment activities;

  • Increase direct recruitment of students for internship and full-time positions, which may include capacity building within Tucson-based or alumni-led small businesses and community organizations to offer robust internship experiences;

  • Further establish Arizona as a recruitment destination of choice within key industries and geographic markets;

  • Achieve revenue goals for value-added employer services;

  • Promote a coordinated approach to employer and alumni relationships with academic units across campus;

  • Connect students to school break career development opportunities (ie job shadowing and internships) in markets of geographic interest;

  • Measure meaningful programmatic success metrics, grounded in a commitment to continuous improvement, equity and inclusiveness.

  • Build personal and university brand as a contributor to campus, local and national conversations about student career development, the future of work and UA’s unique value proposition in building lives of opportunity.

Perform related duties as assigned or required to meet Department and University goals and objectives.



  • Masters Degree Required

  • Minimum of 9 years of related work experience, including 5 years of managerial experience, or equivalent combination of education and work experience.


  • The preferred candidate will have proven leadership and management skills, with previous successful experience supervising managers as well as individual contributors.

  • Strong multicultural competency and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  • Experienced in business development, revenue generation and budget management.

  • Marketing, promotional campaign management, and story-telling skills highly desirable.

  • Demonstrated experience with setting strategic team goals, creating meaningful performance indicators, and using data to drive continuous improvement.

  • Evidence of thought leadership and public engagement highly desirable.


Commensurate with Experience

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Universities are defined by their people, and you could say the people here were born to challenge "business as usual." The University of Arizona existed before Arizona was a state. Our first graduating class in 1895 consisted of two women and one male. 

Since then, we've learned that we're better together. We do more when we work across backgrounds, skills and perspectives. That's how we've become long-time partners with NASA, leaders in both the arts and sciences, and able to prepare students to succeed in a world where most of the jobs today's kindergartners will have don't even exist yet. We know how to converge.


Working together to expand human potential, explore new horizons and enrich life for all.


We will continuously improve how we educate and innovate so we can lead the way in developing disruptive problem-solvers capable of tackling our greatest challenges.


To create a world where human potential is realized and we’re all working together to create solutions to big problems so that life in our communities, in Arizona and on our planet can thrive.

Our Core Values

INTEGRITY. Be honest, respectful and just.

COMPASSION. Choose to care.

EXPLORATION. Be insatiably curious. 

ADAPTATION. Stay open-minded and eager for what’s next.

INCLUSION. We’re better together.



In the Tucson area and beyond, the rich cultural heritage and storied history reflects a landscape found nowhere else on Earth. Venture off the beaten path and see what it means to free yourself. Explore barrio neighborhoods. Discover untouched corners of the vast Sonoran Desert. Look into the night sky with a million twinkling stars. Find freedom to roam from the depths of ancient caves to the tops of stunning mountain peaks.

Around Tucson, the area is divided into districts and neighborhoods -- some linked by streetcar, others connected by streets made for autos, bike lanes, and bus routes -- with varied options for outdoor adventures, sightseeing, eating, and entertainment. Beyond Tucson, the land is defined by county boundaries that hold pick-your-own farms, vineyards and wineries, revived real Old West towns, and Sky Island habitats and preserved natural spaces that beckon day-trippers from Tucson.



We are in a period of ongoing transformation toward realizing the Arizona’s 100% engagement commitment. This leader’s part in that is to provide uniquely helpful career development resources equitably to a large and diverse student population.


The ideal candidate is futuristic and entrepreneurial, outcomes driven, able to both plan and execute initiatives through assignments of their team members, interested in scaling initiatives and persuading others within the department, on campus and in public to forge meaningful engagement in that strategy.


The ideal candidate possesses excellent skills in relationship development. These skills will be employed in hiring, training and motivating employees. They will also be important to developing and sustaining external relationships with alumni and employer partners, and to creating exciting connections with those partners within a complex, highly decentralized institution of public higher education.


The ideal candidate will exemplify a growth mindset, in both approach to professional and personal development. Ideally, this person will also apply that lens in considering aspects of program design and the language and images which we use present our offerings in response to the needs of students and other stakeholders. These skills plus excellent communication at all levels of the organization will be essential to effective change management.





Assistant Vice President, Access, Engagement & Opportunity


As Assistant Vice President, Abra McAndrew leads Student Engagement & Career Development. She provides vision and leadership in developing a nationally-recognized, sustainable strategy for growth of engaged learning on the campus and works to expand the division's capacity to deliver high quality, scaled engaged learning opportunities to students.


Her educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree from Smith College, a Master’s in English and Linguistics from the University of Arizona’s College of Humanities, and an MBA from the Eller College of Management.


To apply, applicants should submit a cover letter and resume to the University of Arizona applicant tracking system.​ To ensure full consideration, complete applications must be received by midnight eastern time on February 17, 2020.


Contact with our search consultants from The Career Leadership Collective is encouraged for applicants. Nominations and applicant inquiries can be sent to John Durkin, Consultant:


All nominations, inquiries, and applications will be confidential.  Once a limited number of finalists are identified for campus interviews, names and résumés of finalists only may become public (finalists will be notified prior). References will not be called until after the first screening of applications and then only after the applicant has given explicit permission. 

This job description and prospectus has been designed to indicate the general nature, working conditions and level of work performed by employees within this job. It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, working conditions and qualifications required of employees assigned to this job. 


At the University of Arizona, we value our inclusive climate because we know that diversity in experiences and perspectives is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and creating an inclusive academic community. As an Hispanic-serving institution, we translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience and expertise working with diverse students, colleagues, and constituencies. Because we seek a workforce with a wide range of perspectives and experiences, we provide equal employment opportunities to applicants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. As an Employer of National Service, we also welcome alumni of AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service programs and others who will help us advance our Inclusive Excellence initiative aimed at creating a university that values student, staff and faculty engagement in addressing issues of diversity and inclusiveness.

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