Career Development Center Director Brian O’Driscoll has been a part of the
Pacific University family since
1985. Having a passion for the
academics aspect of his own college experience, O’Driscoll, a Pacific Alumnus, wanted to come back to Pacific and help students gain that same love for their education.
O’Driscoll graduated in 1989 with a major in philosophy and later received a master’s in literature from Washington University. Having a background in teaching English at community colleges for a little more than six years and as an editor and proofreader at a marketing research company, he was still looking for something more long term. He was notified by a friend of a position at Pacific and remembered his phone interview as a brutal experience.
“It was 85 degrees and I was
in the cab of my truck during the
Rose Parade in Portland and I was drilled with a lot of questions,” said O’Driscoll.
In 1996, he worked as the internship coordinator for a couple years before being promoted to the director position.
His passion for helping students comes from his own college experience.
“I was that student who would be in my room on a Friday night, doing extra readings for class,” said
He loved being a student and wanted to
help students find their own niche in their college experience. It is his strong mission to help people connect their excitement and love for their education to the real world.
“I want students to feel like yes, that degree is valuable for that job and it will be rewarding both financially and as a human being,” said O’Driscoll. “It’s a huge rush to see it work out for students who do get their dream job and apply their skills that they developed into the real
guidance to students who have indentified a career and need help with strategies on how to get where they want to be after graduation. O’Driscoll also focuses a lot on alumni who are looking to transition into another job or another field. He is more than willing to work with students on their graduate school application
O’Driscoll process and to continue to be a career adviser a student
needs after graduating.
“Alumni have obtained their education here
and have raised the bar in their minds and we should support that,” said O’Driscoll. “Our commitment in being interested in continuing to help alumni manage their career makes the Career Development Center here very unique.”
O’Driscoll will try and do everything he can to meet with a current student or alumni in person.
“I met with an alumnae at a Starbucks in Portland totalkabouthercareerpathandI’mwillingtohave phone chats with students who are living across the country,” said O’Driscoll. “I feel that is an ethical obligation of the university to continue to provide career support.”
He believes that alumni provide a great source of insight on different job experiences that students should know about.
As an alumnus himself, he wished he had the availability at the center that students have today.
“Back in 1989, there was no career center,” said O’Driscoll. “There was a table in the bottom of Bates house with a few brochures, résumés and a couple of books on career development strategies.”
The career center provides a lot of guidance for a student who reaches out to advisors like O’Driscoll.
O’Driscoll worked very hard to help create what the career center is today.
Early on after becoming the director, the career center was a part of student life. O’Driscoll made a successful case in moving the center from student life into the arts and sciences department and reinforcing the idea that a career preparation agenda was a learning agenda. The whole program changed from “Career Services” to “Career Center.”
“We consider ourselves as educators in career education,” said O’Driscoll.
Pacific is a family and it is part of the reason why he is still working at Pacific.
“Earlier in my career, I would interact with students as a peer but now that I’m a dad, I have a more nurturing side of me. I see my own kids in some of the students I work with and I love it,” said O’Driscoll.
Hoping students find that same passion in a career like O’Driscoll has today, he continues to provide students both near and far with realistic and dedicated career guidance.