Pam Bozeman-Evans is Passionate About Helping Others Discover Their Passions

Pamela Bozeman-Evans, Senior Director of Career Development and Internships
Pam Bozeman-Evans, Senior Director of Career Development and Internships at North Park University

There’s “no benefit to being risk-averse” as a college student, according to the new senior director for career development and internships

CHICAGO (April 3, 2014) — Pamela Bozeman-Evans has big dreams for North Park University students.

She came to the University this spring as the new senior director for the Office of Career Development and Internships and is using her background in nonprofit, community organizing, and higher education to better position North Park students in a highly competitive workplace. “Families make a tremendous investment in their children’s education and our office will invest our best resources in connecting graduates to employment opportunities,” she says.

Most recently, Bozeman-Evans spent nearly five years as chief operating officer and chief of strategic initiatives for YWCA Metropolitan Chicago. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s in public administration, both from Northern Illinois University.

She says she is grateful for each of her educational and professional experiences that allowed her to focus her career on her core values—the city of Chicago, economic stability for women and children, poverty alleviation, and eliminating racism. She credits her maternal grandmother with asking a question that helped shape her career trajectory: “What good is it to say you’re a good person if you don’t do good things?”

Bozeman-Evans is bringing this question to North Park’s career services, encouraging students to dream big about how their career paths can reflect their passions and values. She says she wants the Office of Career Development and Internships to be a place that “challenges young adult scholars to solve tough social problems.”

This department, a part of the University’s Division of Student Engagement, provides opportunities that include major and career exploration, soft skill development, professional assessments, mock interviews, internships, and employment networks. While they have been focused mainly on undergraduate students, Bozeman-Evans is leading her staff in developing programs for graduate students, adult learners, seminarians, and alumni.

Resumes begin in high school

According to Bozeman-Evans, resumes are documents that grow and change with every new experience, beginning in high school, and reflecting activities and experiences that showcase a person’s talent, passion, and goals. Her goal, she say, is to institutionalize this idea by asking that all students come to North Park University with a resume, no matter how small or sparse, and consciously work on adding experiences that include job shadowing, volunteering, site visits to organizations, both for-credit and non-credit internships, and employment prior to graduation.

Bozeman-Evans and the staff in the Office of Career Development and Internships are ready to assist students in finding opportunities in all of these categories. “We’d like to use a student’s resume, starting at the very beginning of their time at North Park, and work with them to build it year over year, so they are better prepared for whatever direction they want to go in,” Bozeman-Evans said.

“Career development and internships are co-curricular endeavors,” she added, “and North Park has known this for a while. Faculty get it, support it, and figure out ways to integrate the work that we do into the work that they do.”

“Chicago is our classroom”

Drawing on her passion for the city, Bozeman-Evans also wants her office to help North Park students see the city as a classroom. Drawing on that idea, Bozeman-Evans asks, “How can we get our students to see the world through the rich diversity of the city? We have 77 different neighborhoods in Chicago, and each one has an important lesson in history, social studies, economics, languages, and culture. The opportunities for partnership and service learning are endless.”

Now is the time to take risks

According to Bozeman-Evans, college is like no other in a person’s life, often free of limitations that older adults face. Students can explore new ideas, take chances, fail, and grow, she says.

“There’s a lot of pressure for young people to rush to decide on a major, career, and even start a family,” Bozeman-Evans said. “While it’s important to get started, we also realize that students need to take the time to explore their interests, hone their skills, and then match the two so that they can make a living and have a life.”

“We want to help students grow through diverse experiences without knowing every possible outcome,” she added. “This is a time in one’s life when there’s no benefit to being risk-averse.”

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