AlumniAs the IU School of Social Work’s first full-time director of career services, Devina Jani, MSW, LSW, is eager to use her skills in leadership and social work administration to further develop the school’s career services and professional development program. Joining IUSSW in 2012, Jani was most recently a full-time lecturer and a field coordinator. With experience in program development and design, community building, and non-profit sustainability, Jani has worked for the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, Indiana Minority Health Coalition, and Prevent Child Abuse Indiana.

As the school’s first full-time director of career services, what are your current priorities?
I will spend part of the next year looking at best practices and what social work programs at other universities are doing to support students and alumni professionally. I’ll also be evaluating the career services part of our school’s website to see how we can make it more user-friendly. We have a lot of great tools and resources available and want to encourage more students to access them; so, determining how to make our website more appealing and relevant is an important priority.

We will also take a look at our annual career fair, identifying ways we can potentially add virtual components. Assessing the career services we currently offer and looking for ways to make our services better and more in tune with the needs of our students are major priorities.

What is your vision for serving the career and professional development needs of IUSSW students and alumni?
In addition to working directly with undergraduate and graduate students, I will collaborate with colleagues in recruitment, marketing, and alumni relations to make sure we’re reaching students and alumni in every stage of their journey—from pre-social work to post graduation. For current students, we’re exploring the possibility of posting career services and professional development in Canvas to develop the expectation that these services are ongoing and not just for students preparing to graduate.

Will your role support career services on all campuses where the IUSSW has students?
I will coordinate services on all eight campuses. During the next year, we will conduct assessments of services statewide with a goal of developing and adding resources and career services programming that meet the needs of students on each campus.

Do you see opportunities for alumni to be involved in professional development?
Knowledge transfer and sharing perspectives between seasoned social work professionals and those just entering practice can be mutually beneficial. Mentoring is a great way to cultivate these relationships, and that’s one way we’ll be looking to involve alumni in our ongoing professional development initiatives.

What are you looking forward to as career services at IUSSW evolves?
I’m excited about opportunities to be creative in helping students use their social work education in new and different ways. Viewing social work through a different lens offers the chance for students to explore non-traditional avenues to use their social work education, whether that be in business or non-profit organizations. Being creative and open to new ideas allows us to broaden social work’s scope and consider how we can contribute and add value in more ways.

To learn more about the school’s career services, visit IU Social Work.