Kevin McCall’s marketing and communications career started in the field—the baseball field, that is. Early opportunities as a sports marketer, reporter, and editor grew into athletic media relations roles in higher education, which landed Kevin on the Marist College campus in 2014 as their Assistant Sports Information Director—a role he was in for three years.
Kevin’s passion for finding innovative ways to meet students where they are and help them reach their professional goals inspired his transition to Marist’s Center for Career Services in 2017, where he currently serves as the Assistant Director of Outreach, Marketing, and Communications. Day-to-day, Kevin prioritizes the balance between moving swiftly, while also paying close attention to detail, evidenced by the quote that inspires his professional philosophy: “Be quick, but don’t hurry” coined by John Wooden.
Tell us more about your role in the career center.
In my role I promote career events, initiatives, and resources to students, alumni, faculty, and staff through the communication channels I manage, including our department social media accounts, blog, newsletter, and Career Services section of the Marist College website. Event coverage is also one of my main responsibilities, along with supervising and collaborating with student team members who work on marketing and data-related projects for the career center. Additionally in 2023, I helped Marist College transition to Handshake and educated students, alumni, faculty, and employers on how to make best use of the system.
What is an example of an impactful initiative you’ve implemented at your institution?
We’ve introduced and integrated Handshake into many areas of campus, but the initiative that stands out to me the most is getting our student employment positions posted on the platform. With support from the Student Financial Services and other teams at Marist we’ve been able to identify students with work-study eligibility and train staff in other departments to set up employer accounts and post-campus employment, work-study, and other opportunities for students to apply. Setting this up has greatly increased student account activations in the early stages of implementation.
How are you utilizing data from Handshake to effectively provide leadership with an accurate and compelling view of programmatic success?
We utilize Handshake to compile end-of-semester and end-of-year reports. The ability to track attendance at events as well as in-person and virtual appointments in real time, on a daily basis, is tremendously helpful for us as we provide regular updates on our team’s progress.
How does Handshake help make your team more successful?
Handshake is extremely helpful for us because it centralizes so many touch points for our community. Students use the app to schedule appointments, apply for jobs, register for our events, and explore more of our digital resources. Faculty review internship registrations for academic credit using Experiences. Employers continue to add Marist College to their list of schools so we get a steady stream and wide variety of opportunities available in the system at any given moment.
What is one of your favorite events or programs that you or your team have implemented for students on your campus?
My favorite programs that we’ve implemented are our trips off campus. Marist’s proximity to New York City has helped us launch our Road to the Workplace series of trips, where students get the opportunity to network with employees and Marist College alumni at a particular company by visiting their workplace and getting an overview of their open jobs, internships, and other programs. We’ve also partnered with the School of Liberal Arts, School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Office of Alumni Relations to run a networking trip to Washington, D.C., every spring for students interested in public service careers. It’s always nice to bring students directly to the employers and alumni in addition to hosting them on campus.
What are the biggest challenges your students face when it comes to professional development/career exploration? How do you and your career team help solve for them?
The biggest challenge our students face is identifying the career services resource that is most valuable for them to use at any given time. We meet with students early and often during their time at Marist so we can assist them with setting and achieving their career goals, and we partner with other areas of campus to help students and alumni assess their interests, skills, and values relating to professional development.
What is one of your favorite student success stories?
Though I don’t often meet with students one-on-one, I have had opportunities to supervise and mentor some of our student employees who have gone on to earn full-time jobs in the marketing, communications, and technology fields. Watching them learn how to create engaging content, adapt quickly, and grow into professional roles post-graduation has been very rewarding for me.
Any final thoughts?
I’m grateful to have been a part of the ways Marist College has innovated over nearly the last decade. Every day I get to work with people who appreciate me for the many hats I wear and help me grow and adapt to the ways that my position and higher education continue to evolve.