What’s the newest benefit of a Candler education? Career services resources for both students and alumni. Candler recently welcomed Anne Kelly as the school’s first-ever director of Career Services, part of the Office of Student Programming. Kelly joins the staff after working in career services at Emory’s Goizueta Business School, and brings with her a wealth of experience in higher education, advertising, and leadership development that will enrich her work with current students, alumni, and potential employers. 

“Vocational discernment is a lifelong endeavor for all of us, and it’s never simple,” says Ellen Echols Purdum, assistant dean of student life and spiritual formation. “Students in seminary are doing the challenging work of engaging theological education, adding that richness to the process of seeking the places where God is calling them—where, as Frederick Buechner reminds us, one’s deep gladness meets the world’s deep hunger. Career Services can help students and alumni open up a bigger imaginative space to see such possibilities.”

Candler’s commitment to helping students understand their call and the possibilities for living it out in the real world starts well before a student makes an appointment with Career Services. In fact, vocational discernment and professional development occur throughout a student’s time at Candler, shaped by coursework, Contextual Education and internship experiences, worship activities, the Office of Student Programming, faculty mentoring, and much prayer and reflection. Once students have begun to discern their path, Career Services can partner with them to help connect their passion with opportunities for employment, and guide them in developing skills such as job search strategy, networking tips, personal branding, interview prep, and negotiations. Kelly has already begun offering “Career Talk” sessions for Candler students in the various degree programs, discussing what they should consider regarding vocation at different points during their theological education.

Vocational support is also available to Candler alumni who are looking for the next step in their professional lives. Career Services can facilitate networking opportunities among alumni, connect alums with potential employers, and assist with job search strategy. In addition to the services that Candler provides, Emory Alumni Career Services offers professional development resources, online and event networking, affinity groups around the globe, job postings and more. Alumni are also encouraged to grow their networks by joining the Candler Alumni Association and the Emory Alumni Association. Alumni can also connect with Kelly during her March 15 Office Hours webinar on “Storytelling for Career Guidance.” Register here.

A primary purpose of Candler’s career services focus is to connect students and alumni with potential employers, who can post job openings and work with Kelly’s office to network with students and alumni. Kelly considers it an essential part of her job to help organizations understand the unique skills that a Candler student or alum can bring to their community.

“I’m looking forward to using my voice to be an advocate for students and alumni, to broaden their pool of potential employers, and the places they can go to live out their calling.”

To Kelly, the most energizing part of working in career services is helping people feel purposeful. “Everybody has gifts that they bring to the table that are unique, that are excellent. It’s amazing to see how it all works together. Knowing someone’s gifts and where they’ve been and where they’re headed can be really powerful and exciting."

Contact Career Services.