On June 1, the Center for Career and Professional Development (formerly Career Development Center) was realigned under Student Affairs reporting to Vice President Jerri Howland, and Molly Matthews, a former trustee and foundation director of the College, has recently been named interim executive director.
“Today’s work force needs professionals who can develop and meet ever-changing workplace demands. It’s foundational to our LEAD initiative that we prepare our students to transition and thrive in the workplace,” said Howland. “Because Molly has been working with the Center for Career and Professional Development, and Institutional Advancement and its Alumni Relations unit, we can immediately build on our momentum and provide professional development when we are back on campus this fall.”
Matthews is an entrepreneur and businesswoman who founded Matthews Media Group (recently acquired by Omnicom), a communication company that grew under her leadership to over 150 employees. Over the last decade, Matthews has re-invented her own career and become an advocate for career literacy, leading local college and state workforce programs. Noting that many students did not have time to focus on job search skills and build networks along with the demands of college studies, she developed an innovative approach, Job-IQ, to utilize a digital platform that provides virtual career services support. Job-IQ, initially piloted at St. Mary’s College as an online app, now includes a Professional Contacts Directory to match students with alumni and friends of the College who are willing to offer guidance and work/learn opportunities.
“As a former employer, I know that liberal arts graduates bring an advantage to employers beyond simply fitting a particular job description: they can think, strategize, evaluate, communicate, synthesize and lead,” said Matthews. “Teaching them the best way to demonstrate strengths and effectively communicate with potential employers is critical.”
Matthews previously served as the director of public education for Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., an account executive at Porter, Novelli & Associates public relations firm, and teacher and educational consultant for WETA.
She has taught undergraduate courses in communications and business at the University of Maryland and adult and career education courses at the George Washington University, the Universities at Shady Grove, and state and local workforce development programs such as Earn Maryland and Identity.
She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Hamline University, St. Paul, Minnesota, and her Masters of Art degree from University of Maryland, College Park.