By Emily Shane
Room 306 in Burton Morgan can be scary for students. The office houses Career Exploration and Development and, while the office is a great resources for finding jobs and internships, many students would prefer not to think about networking and Linkedin until their senior year.
The new director of Career Exploration and Development Richard Berman wants to change this attitude. “So many people are scared of the word career. Do you know what the root definition is? It comes from French, and means racetrack. So, it’s not hard for me to understand why people might be a little fearful of that.”
He is excited to get started and implement his vision for the office. “I have this picture in my head of what overarching change should look like and it’s pretty concrete, but it needs to be Denisonized,” Berman said. “There’s no one way to do this and it depends on the community, especially since that picture in my head is all built around community engagement.”
One of the reasons Berman decided to come to Denison because of the school’s devotion to the career center. “I’m here because President Weinberg, the trustees, and the supportive faculty have made a very robust commitment to funding a transformation, not even of Denison’s career support, but nationally,” he added.
“They aspire to develop a national model that does career support in a very substantially different way, and I’m lucky enough to be the person that they are entrusting a large part of that to.”
Berman also has a personal connection to Denison. “My son, David, and my daughter-in-law Ashley, are both Denison graduates, classes ‘05 and ‘06, respectively. They were also married in Swasey.” He explained this fact helped him choose Denison. “I looked out the window [of my office] and the view is of Swasey. So I knew at that point that that was the right instinct to follow.”
Outside of work, he says, “I like being involved in animal rescue work and I have my own sixteen-year old miniature dachshund, who runs the family. Other than that I’ve been on this bent lately of reading the full novels of films I’ve always loved.” However he admits, “I work a lot, and I love my work.”
Berman is the former Career Center Director at Oberlin College, and previously worked at Carleton College and Kalamazoo College. He is transitioning into his position at Denison and will begin by June 1, 2015.
Photo Courtesy of Linh Nguyen