Connecting Talent to Industry by Ball State Career Center 

January 2023, Guest blogger: Jim McAtee 

This January, Ball State University Career Center’s Jim McAtee took to LinkedIn to highlight some innovative programs at Ball State University’s Career Center. Originally a series of four posts, we’ve collected the whole series here for your enjoyment. This is how Jim introduced each post: 

Help me celebrate through a series of four brief posts in January about some of the amazing work being done on the Ball State University campus to ensure our students are prepared with 21st Century skills and our employer partners have access to one of the best talent sources in Indiana from the four-year institution serving the Indiana workforce. 

Indiana Connection Lounge & Experience 

Watch this brief video and learn four pieces of impressive data about how we are providing additional strategic opportunities for employers to engage authentically with their future workforce. All students, and specifically students who need it the most can make critical connections while employers engage in new ways of branding on campus and recruiting. 

A few data points from Fall 2023, just one semester:
· 49 Employer team members from 8 Indiana employers engaged in…
· 69 classrooms, 27 networking events, and the Indiana Connection Lounge to connect with…
· 3,256 students of whom…
· 78% will work for Indiana companies when they graduate 

Watch the brief video below. 

Congratulations to the entire campus and the Career Center Team for such a successful fall semester. I am looking forward to the great work and impact we will make in the future! 


Skills Infusion Program 

Each year 60 faculty engage in professional development with alumni/employers which helps them to infuse the competencies employers want into course outcomes across all majors. Industry and faculty sit together and craft an enhanced syllabus embedding the 8 NACE competencies. These are competencies employers do not want to have to train, but expect every new hire to have day one.  

Over 300 courses so far have mapped these competencies to course outcomes, and we continue to grow!  

This matters because we are instilling the skills and competencies employers seek in every industry and job, and our students are better equipped for fulfilling careers and meaningful lives. 

Thank you to our faculty who do such a fantastic job and to our co-curricular champions who help students grow these competencies outside of the classroom. Finally, thank you to the Career Center team at Ball State for always doing a great job! 

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Faculty Externship Program
Each year faculty who complete Skills Infusion can apply for an externship. We place them in an Indiana company for a 40-hour job shadow experience. Faculty see where the competencies critical to industry and post-graduation success they teach on campus show up in the workplace.

Thank you to our employer partners who host our faculty for this 40-hour on-site experience!


Enhanced Career Coaching
Today, students want authentic connections. We want them to also connect authentically with their strengths and to be aware of the unique value they bring to the table. This helps guide them in their journey towards fulfilling careers and meaningful lives. 

That is why all of our coaching team will be certified in Clifton Strengths. This way they can help students learn what their strengths are and why that is important. Then, they can bring more to the table for our Indiana Industries. 

Also, through reflective practice, we will be empowering students to iteratively reflect on how they are practicing the skills employers seek throughout their time at Ball State. Through co-curricular and curricular engagements our students practice skills that transcend industry and major. 

This, connected to the previous three January “Help Me Celebrate” posts are ways Ball State helps all students reach their potential and connect in meaningful ways with Indiana industry and Ball State alumni. 

Thank you for helping me celebrate in January through these four posts! I am looking forward to visiting the Statehouse tomorrow during the Ball State Day at the Statehouse to continue sharing this good work!  

Jim McAtee is AVP and Executive Director of Career and Professional Development. Jim can be reached at