ULL system exec urges students to job hunt early

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Dr. Sandra Woodley, the new president of University of Louisiana System, hopes to get students at the system’s colleges on the path to a career earlier in their degree plans using electronic profiles on an up-and-coming networking site.

“In addition to helping students get degrees, we must also find and connect students with career paths,” Woodley said. “We need to do that. A partnership with a networking site called Mighty You will help students navigate throughout the job search system. They can create an electronic profile so that their resume does not get lost in the pile. It’s like virtual recruiting.

“We need to showcase the student talent on our campuses.”

Woodley touted her plans as she the new leader of the system during the recent Houma-Terrebonne Chamber of Commerce general membership luncheon. She emphasized the importance of getting companies seek students at regional universities throughout the state and how to the system needs to stay competitive when sending students into the job market.

“Companies go to large universities like Louisiana State University to look for workers, but there is an amazing depth to the students we develop on our campuses,” she said. “This networking system will actively promote internships and help students find a job long before their final semester.

“The electronic profiles will allow us to be sophisticated and inventive in helping students find jobs. It will foster collaboration and move the state forward.”

The electronic profiles, which Woodley likened to a combination of websites like Linkedin and Facebook for students seeking jobs, will play matchmaker between students and companies.

“Texas is using this same technology,” Woodley said. “It will help us level the playing field. No student will be overlooked in the recruiting process. It will help identify talent and find sophisticated pockets of students at regional institutes and connect companies to the best and brightest thinkers. ”

Woodley praised Dr. Stephen Hulbert, who will retire as president of Nicholls before the fall semester begins in August, for his efforts to keep the school moving forward in spite of state cuts to higher education.

“I am so proud of the work at Nicholls,” Woodley said. “Dr. Hulbert has made it work at Nicholls. He is a team player who cares about the value Nicholls gives to the community. He is motivated by work, not by prestige.

“Nicholls has lots of first generation college students and non-traditional students. Nicholls serves its community and is committed to the community. Nicholls provides value to the community. ”

Woodley pointed out the school’s unique culinary degree program as well as the geomatic department’s new partnership with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers as signs that the school is still an integral part of the University of Louisiana System.

“The largest number of students in the state are in the the University of Louisiana System,” said Houma-Terrebonne Chamber of Commerce board treasurer Stephen Baker. “These are regional universities, and it is important that these universities function at a high level.”

Baker questioned Woodley on how she would come up with new and innovative ways to fund higher education in the state.

“It is extremely challenging and does keep me up at night,” Woodley responded. “There has been a shift in the way universities are funded and funding has declined. There has been a switch from state to tuition revenue. Affordability is important for students, and we want to offer a solution.”

Cypress Property Management sponsored the luncheon. The full-service property management company recently opened an office at 113 Venture Blvd. in Houma.

“My dad (Hank Tatje III) started this company in 1995,” said Lauren Marmande, who handles management and leasing for the company. “We manage 70,000 square feet of retail space in three strips. We also manage condominium associations and storage facilities, including one in Houma.”

The company handles day to day property management, real estate and brokerage services, valuation and monthly financial reporting for properties.

“Lauren and I have 47 years of combined appraisal experience and 25 in brokerage,” Tatje said. “We started the company to take care of properties we had. Through Lauren’s capable experience, we hope to have a long term presence here in Terrebonne Parish.”