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Inspired by students, new Exec. Director of Cornell Career Services takes helm

Headshot of Erica Kryst

At the start of the fall 2022 semester, Student and Campus Life welcomed Erica Kryst Ph.D. as the new Executive Director of Cornell Career Services. Erica comes to Cornell with a robust background in higher education, most recently serving as the Senior Associate Director for Career Experiences & Education at Binghamton University.

“I am inspired by students and their stories. Learning about the passions, aspirations, and experiences of students is such a privilege. I’m in awe of students’ goals and what they are able to accomplish so early in their professional lives,” she says. “Supporting students as they navigate what can be both an exciting and nerve-wracking time in their lives is very motivating. I feel so fortunate to be a part of their journeys.”

Erica is enthusiastic about the meaningful support career services provides students, and Cornell Career Services is well-positioned to help at every stage of the career exploration and job seeking process. As a low-income, first-generation college student herself, support from college mentors led Erica to a career in student services – but not before six academic major changes. She readily acknowledges that the experiences she had would have been less stressful if she’d consulted with her school’s career center.

“Even if you have several interests, talking to professionals who currently work in those fields will provide valuable insight into what it’s actually like to be in that industry. Through these conversations, you’ll start to identify paths that you would like to learn more about.”

Cornell Career Services helps students identify the opportunities and support that is available to help them achieve their unique goals. “Working with the Career Services team will help [students] feel more confident in [themselves] and the decisions that [they] are making about [their] future,” she says. Among the benefits she lists: employer and alumni network building and resources to improve career readiness – and critically, this support is offered with a focus on each student’s unique goals and experiences.  

“Our work inspires transformation. We connect students to experiences, knowledge, and networks that further their growth and development, both personally and professionally. Experiential learning itself is a transformative experience, and we strive to connect all students to opportunities that further enhance what they are learning in the classroom,” Erica says.

Looking to the future, Erica has plans to adapt Cornell Career Services to even better meet the needs of Cornell students. “We need to provide resources, events, and support that appeals to a variety of learning styles and is accessible 24/7. No one approach to supporting students will work today,” she says. “The nature of work is constantly evolving and as career professionals we must adapt how we prepare students for the constantly changing nature of work in today’s world.”

Erica encourages students to stop in or make an appointment. “You don’t have to navigate your career path alone. We are here to provide support and help build your career confidence.” Erica is enthusiastic on this point. Cornell Career Services can help students identify and prepare for their next steps.

Students can request a customized workshop for their group, make an individual appointment with an advisor, and explore countless resources on the Career Services website.