Help is just a phone call away

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Help is just a phone call away

May 13, 2015, Katja Sonkeng

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Danna Lewis, the new director of the
SIU College of Business Placement Center

“Whatever it takes.” That’s the motto Danna Lewis brought along with her expertise and knowledge to the College of Business Placement Center at SIU Carbondale.

Since April 1, the newly appointed director of the dedicated career and placement office, which exclusively serves College of Business students and alumni, has been working around the clock. The hours and days have flown by as the Centralia, Illinois, native has become familiar with the existing work flow and the staff members in Rehn Hall.

Just a month later, Lewis now has a clear vision for the career center. It ultimately will be digital and virtual – and, most importantly, interactive and accessible at any time, even beyond SIU.

“We are looking to improve our services for alumni and online students,” Lewis said. “The idea is to become a valuable source for former SIU College of Business students in their job search after graduation, and to react to the growing number of online students.”

Lewis, an SIU alumna, began her Saluki journey in 2001. It was during her undergraduate years and experience as a resident advisor at Schneider Hall that she discovered her true passion: working with college students. After graduating in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in health care management, she went on to become hall director of residence life at Georgia Southern University before she transferred to Colorado State University to accept the position as residence director. While at CSU she worked with students on résumé writing and mock interviews.

Driven by her gratitude to her alma mater in Southern Illinois, the first-generation college graduate eventually found her way back to the Saluki family.

“SIU has really helped me to change a lot of the dynamics in my family and break the cycle of poverty,” Lewis said, “so being able to give back to students, and to help them and offer them some guidance to get them that first job and what they worked so hard for, is really rewarding. It’s what gets me up every day. It’s a true source of happiness.”

Among the many services the SIU College of Business Placement Service offers are one-on-one meetings to identify ideal positions and résumé reviews to start the job-search process. Additionally, Lewis and her team help schedule interviews with companies and reserve meeting locations on campus for future employers.

Lewis also said she would not hesitate to pick up the phone and put in a good word with a company a student might be interested in, if that’s what she needs to do.

With the 2015 spring commencement just around the corner, Lewis has a message for the College of Business students who will walk down the graduation aisle Saturday, May 16, in the SIU Arena: “We are just a phone call away.”

Until then, please join us in extending a warm welcome to our newest member of the SIU College of Business family, Danna Lewis!