Three months into her new position as Executive Director at the CCD, we sat down with Addye Buckley-Burnell to learn her impressions of how the labor market has been affected by the pandemic and what she wants students to know about their path after BU. We discussed what drew her to career development, what keeps her passionate, and what her vision and priorities are for the coming year.
Q: You’ve been here just over 3 months now, how are you finding BU so far?
With the exception of the cold weather, I have really enjoyed my transition to Boston and Boston University. The university community has been incredibly welcoming and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know my way around the university and acclimating to the CCD. BU students, staff, and faculty have all lived up to the reputation of being exceptional.
Q: After almost 2 years of the pandemic and significant upheaval in the labor market, what do you want students to know about their path after BU?
Because of this increase in demand, applicants have more power in the current market leading to an increase in salaries offered and more flexibility in remote work options. This is great news for students and graduates because many of these positions (both internships and full-time jobs) did not even exist 2 years ago. Students should feel empowered to explore these opportunities in order to make a plan to set themselves up for success upon graduation.
Q: What drew you to career development for your career? What keeps you passionate about it?
I am a prime example of happenstance or chaos theory within a career. My master’s degree was in mental health counseling, which I loved, but it was difficult to find work in it during the recession of 2008. I knew I wanted to work with college students so took a position as a sabbatical replacement doing career counseling at a community college to get my foot in the door and fell in love.
It was the perfect combination of counseling, college students, and a variety of work I enjoyed, and to top it off, every student left happier than they came in—which is not something you experience in mental health counseling. As someone who never used career services in college, or even knew that it existed, I now find joy in teaching others the things I never learned and hopefully helping them avoid the pitfalls we all learn the hard way. I found my passion in empowering others to find their own path, and it has been rewarding and challenging everyday since. This started my career path in career development and I have never looked back.
Q: What is your vision for career development at BU? What is a priority for your first year?
My vision for career development at BU is for career planning to be entwined into the entire academic experience. I want every student at BU to have the same access to experiences and guidance so that every student feels confident in their ability to articulate how their time at BU, in and out of the classroom, has prepared them for their next step. By removing barriers to students gaining this support, I hope all students feel seen and empowered to find their path.
In my first year at BU, I will work to make our resources, services, and programming more accessible and user-friendly. I will create new and build upon already existing relationships across campus to collaborate on programming and resources, along with working to infuse career readiness in the classroom. To remove financial barriers for our students, we will be opening the Professional Clothing Closet with the Newbury Center. This student-led initiative will allow all BU students access to free professional clothing to help build their confidence in their career pursuits. We will also be offering resume and cover letter reviews during drop-in hours each week (Yawkey Center Room 101) to make it easier for students to get assistance.
Q: What is the last book you read for fun? Or a TV show you enjoy?
To be honest, after just completing my dissertation and moving across the country for my new job, I have not had the opportunity to read for fun lately. The last book I read was for my dissertation and titled iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy, and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood by Jean M. Twenge, PhD. I do however enjoy having shows or movies playing in the background while I work or do things around the house and most recently binged West Wing for the second time.