Mary Raymond, Pomona College’s new Associate Dean of Students and Director of the Career Development Office (CDO), has come to campus with a passion for career development in liberal arts education.
As the director of the CDO, Raymond said she plans to “build upon… the core” of the office, “which means that the students come first.” She hopes that the CDO can act as “personal encouragers that will help [students] stretch out what their ideas might be.”
Raymond said she is dedicated to liberal arts schools because of the unique nature of a liberal arts education.
“A liberal arts education transforms a student into realizing that anything that they want to do is possible,” she said. Through career services, Raymond said that she hopes to “help students fulfill what their dreams, goals, life plans are.”
Raymond said one of the unique qualities of a liberal arts education is the flexibility in how students define themselves academically. “Their major is not the ultimate statement of who they are,” she said. “Liberal arts students can do anything.”
Born and raised in New York City, Raymond has specialized in career development since 1982, and has since worked at several liberal arts colleges, including Iona College and Sarah Lawrence College. Prior to coming to Pomona, she was the Director of Career Services at Vassar College.
At Vassar, Raymond helped raise almost four million dollars for the school’s Career Development Office and helped create several career services programs. She played a hand in the creation of the Wall Street Immersion Program, an intensive program that introduces Vassar students to Wall Street. She also assisted in the Winternship Program at Vassar, which gives opportunities to students to intern over winter break.
Raymond did not initially plan to come to Pomona. She heard that the College was planning a project to re-engineer career services for liberal arts students in order to maximize the department’s effectiveness. The students at Pomona and the unique nature of this project drew Raymond to Claremont to learn more about the school and the job.
“Pomona was the right fit,” she said.
Raymond encouraged students to consider all options in terms of classes and opportunities. Through expanding their work outside the classroom and being involved in community service, students can be stronger candidates for their chosen profession, she said. In addition, Raymond advised students to focus their summers on working toward their goals or learning more about certain industries.
Raymond hopes to make the CDO more visible on campus, saying that the CDO has substantial resources for students and is a “best kept secret” on campus. She encourages all students to visit the CDO, especially first-years and sophomores, who can then find out what questions they have for their future. She encourages first-years to explore everything possible.
“I want to put so much energy into freshmen and sophomores,” she said.
Raymond also recommended that juniors and seniors reflect on what they have done at Pomona and ask themselves, “What’s missing from my portfolio?” She said they should also continue to expand their options in and outside of the classroom.
The CDO is located in the Smith Campus Center (SCC) and is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m._x000D_