By Makayela Isbell ’20 & Angelina Ingrassia ’18
Staff Reporter & Managing Editor
The Career and Connection Institute (CCI), the new expansion to Career Services, will open in the ‘18-‘19 fall semester under the leadership of Corey McLellan, new to Gordon’s faculty as CCI’s Executive Director.
McLellan received his Masters of Divinity in Seminary and his MBA from the University of Virginia. His wife is also an alumna of Gordon.
McLellan brings his past professional experiences when entering this new role. He described his career path as one that was unconventional, with his past jobs including many roles such being a pastor and church planter, to working on management consoling.
However, he’s re-entered the business world.
The new institute will include aspects of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) which will continue with its expansions.
In addition to CEL aspects, there will also be an emphasis on intentionally implementing positive experiences for upperclassmen. McLellan explained the hope to provide more “initiatives and programs focused on orientation freshman and sophomore year.” Some of these implements include the Calling and Career conference, which will now be held in the fall semester rather than the spring.
While this institute is relatively new, McLellan claimed that it will be “building on what has been happening at Gordon for the longest time.”
The CCI believes that there are potential areas, such as corporate work, new ventures and ministry, that students will engage with and connect on a personal level.
A new and renovated space located on the second floor of Jenks will be constructed by August, and will include a new entrance leading to the intended area that is accessible via the quad.
McLellan explained that this space will be ideal when “gathering for making more connections, for having meetings, interviews, connections with potential employers, mentoring, and there will be facilities for distance meetings and interviews.”
He assured that more is being done and that close work and coordination is occuring between the new institute and the current Career Service team.
The Career Services department will be included within CCI, but the organizational aspects are still in the works.
While McLellan is currently the only new hire for this project, he stated that one or two additional colleagues over the next year will be added once the needs are seen.
However, McLellan and the staff re-ensure that they are eager and ready to connect with students attempting to decipher the landscapes of their summer and/or post-graduate options.