Throughout her years as the Director of COM Career Services, Joyce Rogers has worked to guide students on their career paths by making sure they check off the appropriate boxes from resumes, cover letters to social networking. After 35 years in the field, Joyce will check one special box. Her own for retirement at the end of this Fall 2017 semester. At her office, The COMmunicator scheduled a meeting with Joyce to talk about her experiences in the early days of evolving COM Career Services from a startup and how it shaped her own career.
Rogers’ journey began in 1975 when she started working in Administration in the Mass Communication and Journalism departments at Boston University’s College Communication. In 1986, she was asked if she had any interest in opening a career office in a little storage closet on the second floor.
Rogers immediately accepted.
Over the years, the closet transformed into an entire COM Career Services department as we know it today.
Rogers recalls her initial days when computers were barely existent. The College used word processing and telephones to get messages across as there was no “online” at that time. She recollects the times when the department sent out huge weekly newsletters with job postings. It was “the most effective way of getting the information” at the time until the Boston University IT department developed a home-grown career information system called COM Jobs. Later, they purchased a career management system for the entire university, which very recently switched to Handshake. “It has been a transition, or several transitions to get here from 1986 to 2017,” Rogers added.
When asked about her best moments at COM, Rogers responded with two.
She had some of her most cherished moments with the students and alumni. She felt proud hearing about students finding jobs, finding their loved ones, becoming successful and having families. “I have seen some pretty amazing students and alumni and I have managed to keep in touch with them from Japan to California,” Rogers said.
Another set of Rogers’ best moments reflect back to the times when she met a myriad of interesting humans throughout her career such as Jacqueline Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Marlo Thomas and the American Talk Show host Phil Donahue.
During her retirement Rogers plans to continue her volunteer work, play the piano for nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, and commit a lot time to gardening. “I am a major gardener,” Rogers said. “I love organic gardening and I raise a lot of vegetables and flowers.” She also looks forward to getting back to work on the Christmas Toy Drives with her sister in Illinois.
When asked about her advice to COM students, Rogers replied, “Be kinder to yourselves. Stop putting so much stress on yourselves. You are all so overachieving. Take time to really enjoy life and relax.”
Rogers ends the conversation with her most favorite line: “Network. It’s what you gotta do.”
Contributor, Sruthi Dhulipala
Sruthi is a first-year PR graduate student and an aspiring PR professional. Singing is her panacea from reality and completes her as a person. It is also her life’s goal to practice music therapy and promote it for the benefit of people. An ardent dreamer and a self-professed book dragon, she can never be anything but the most dedicated Marvel nerd.