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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

New Career Development Services Director Brings 20 Years of Higher Education Experience to ODU

By Brandi Taylor '20

Bill Means, a 20-year veteran of higher education and career implementation, wants to lead Old Dominion University's Career Development Services (CDS) in a new direction.

With experience in both historically black and predominantly white institutions big and small, Means said he was particularly attracted to ODU's commitment to diversity and inclusion, and "even balance and mix of cultures within our university."

Means was the Director of Career Services at Delaware State University, since 2014-19 before he started his new position at Old Dominion University. He began his college journey in 1991, and before starting his degree, he went on a mission to Kenya. He said he has grown and changed greatly in his time in higher education and wants to empower ODU students to do the same. He has a wide educational background, graduating with an B.A. in Psychology at Tennessee State University, M.A. in Adult Education at North Carolina A&T State University, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

"If you are the same person with the same habits when you came into college as when you graduate then you haven't really taken advantage of your educational experience," he said

Means has been in the position for three months and has already overseen the reshaping of the CDS' social media accounts. Means said the Instagram account has already seen a significant increase in engagement.

Now, Means is looking to motivate his team to think of more ways to make the University's career center stand out. He wants to further empower ODU students to take charge of the space. He also wants to create a strategy for all students to complete internships.

"It's best to help develop the students and mold them into their ideal self and grow and mature outside of the classroom into their working field," he said.

Overseeing a staff of 17, which includes representatives in every academic college, Means wants to make career support and resources readily available to every Old Dominion student.

In addition to CDS' job placement, graduate school application and professional development assistance, a Career Champion Program is being created.

It will enlist faculty across the University to help train students on how to write resumes and interview strategies, as well as simply making students aware of what CDS provides.

"We are there for them," he said.

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Brandi Taylor is a senior majoring in communications.

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