The Career Services department began the year strong with a successful Freshman 15 event that exchanged resumes for tacos at the Arnold House. The goal of the event was to encourage freshmen to have a resume that could be submitted for editing by Career Services. 112 freshmen students attended, roughly 42% of the freshmen student body. Cassie Hagan, Director of Professional Development and Center for Innovation, Business, and Entrepreneurship (CIBE), explained the significance of the event.
“So for those who are hard statistics people, we know based on the data that we gather from the seniors every year when they graduate, that the students who use Career Services starting in their freshman year are more likely to have their first destination outcome by the time they walk across the stage at graduation,” said Hagan, Director of Professional Development and Center for Innovation, Business, and Entrepreneurship. Hagan explained that first-destination includes jobs, graduate school, fellowship, or other desired outcomes. This data has been a guiding force in the push to get freshmen to utilize career services. However, events like “Freshman 15” don’t happen very often because, historically, the department hasn’t had the infrastructure to support it. Following three recent hires, this is the first time since last January that career services has had a full staff.
Hagan began working with Wabash College in 2013. She briefly left for a role as Executive Director of the Crawfordsville-Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, and she returned last year to take over the Career Services department following the loss of Roland Morin ’91. This year, Jake Riley ’20, Karlie Hall, and Bryan Biddle have been hired to round out the Arnold House staff. Riley will serve as a career advisor, Biddle will act as the CIBE program manager, and Hall will be an Administrative and Recruiting Assistant. “Karlie is a recent graduate of the University of Indianapolis,” said Hagan. “She will sort of be the face of the office for anybody that’s not sure who they need to talk to.
“Jake was a swimmer, three time letterman, inaugural writing fellow, a Career Services intern, and a peer career advisor. So we’re very thankful to have someone coming back to the team that already knows a lot about what we do in the office and has been able to just jump in seamlessly and get going.
“And then the third new staff member is Brian, who will be our new CIBE Program Manager, which is actually a new position replacing the CIBE Fellow position that we’ve had previously. So we’re bringing someone in who has pretty wide scope of business experience to be a little bit more of an adviser to the CIBE consultants on their engagement projects.”The CIBE will undergo major changes for the 2026 class. Starting this year, no freshmen will work on consulting projects with a client. Instead, freshmen will focus on learning the business and consulting skills needed to excel on future engagements. “I realized, through sitting in on some of our calls with our clients last year, that a lot of the students in the 2025 class were trying really hard to do a good job, but they were having a hard time figuring out if they were hitting the mark,” said Hagan. “So it made a lot of sense to me that we would not throw them immediately into the engagement projects and instead give them a whole year worth of training.” This decision is one of many that are being made to make the Career Services department more efficient, effective, and valuable for students. However, it will be up to future classes to take advantage of the opportunities afforded to them.