William (Wil) Jones, Jr.
Career Exploration and Success (CES) at Rutgers University-New Brunswick is pleased to announce that William (Wil) Jones, Jr. has been appointed as Interim Executive Director.
Chancellor Christopher J. Molloy appointed Jones, who previously was Senior Director of CES and Director of Operations & Strategic Initiatives, to serve in the role vacated by Rick Hearin, who retired in August.
“I am honored to lead such a hardworking and passionate team recognized by the national career services community for their excellence and innovation,” Jones says.
Prior to his nearly eight-year tenure at Rutgers, he was a key member of the University Career Center leadership team at the University of Maryland-College Park. At UMD, he managed all recruiting services and employer outreach efforts, student marketing, and assessment.
Jones is no stranger to the Big 10 network. He was named the 2019 Big 10 Career Professional of the Year. At Rutgers, Jones co-founded the industry-centric career community model for service delivery to ensure that all students have access to career resources regardless of their academic majors or career interests. The approach became a national model and was adopted by more than half of the career centers within the Big 10. Jones also led campus-wide efforts to organize career resources into one central platform, Rutgers Handshake, helping to expand opportunities for all students. And he has a record of working collaboratively with campus partners on many of these initiatives.
“Wil has been a true ‘careers’ visionary throughout the past six years I have had the pleasure of knowing him,” says Ildi Koczan, Assistant Director of Student Services for Career Services at the School of Communication and Information. “He has demonstrated strong leadership, not only to CES but all the campus partners here at Rutgers through his student-focused and need-based foresight and uncanny tech and data-savvy approaches. He is an inspiration to all of us and I am delighted to experience the continued growth of CES and all the amazing things he will bring with his outstanding team to support Rutgers students' career growth.”
Jennifer Lenahan, Director of the Career Explorations Initiative in the School of Arts and Sciences, also notes that Jones has been a longtime advocate of campus partnerships that work to improve the student experience.
“Wil has worked diligently to bring new innovations to the career development experience at Rutgers, to bridge programs and services across silos, and to keep people in and outside of his department motivated and enthusiastic during unprecedented times of change,” Lenahan says.
Jones steps in for Hearin, who was at the helm of Career Exploration and Success (formerly University Career Services) since 2013.
“Rick Hearin has been a valuable mentor and a strong advocate,” says Jones. “Through his leadership, our work was elevated, and the students of Rutgers were better for it.” The two formed a decade-long professional partnership that began with their previous work at the University of Maryland.
“Losing Rick Hearin to retirement is a big loss to CES and Rutgers overall, but Wil Jones is an excellent choice to take the reins,” says Len Garrison, Career Services Manager at the School of Management and Labor Relations. “He is a tremendous leader with vision and has a proven ability to work effectively with all of the campus partners. CES is in good hands with Wil Jones leading the way.”
Jones’ new role at CES comes at a time when proper career development is crucial for students as they navigate an increasingly challenging employment market in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
“COVID-19 has impacted all student service providers across the campus,” says Jones. “I place a premium on developing mutually beneficial partnerships with faculty and staff, employers, alumni, and students to expand service delivery and ensure a diverse array of opportunities for those we serve.”
In the wake of the pandemic, CES shifted its career development programming — including its robust calendar of recruiting opportunities — to the virtual space. It is not the first time that Jones has had to lead a team in adapting to unforeseen circumstances.
“Wil's effective leadership in the employer relations space helped students at the University of Maryland navigate a highly competitive job market during the 2008 recession,” says Janet Jones, Director of Employer Connections and Engagement at CES. “I can't think of a better person to lead CES as we take on the new challenges we face today in connecting students to their future careers."
Wil Jones holds a M. Ed. in College Student Personnel and a B.A. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland-College Park.