April 2, 1997

Carla Mortensen Appointed to Career Office Position

Carla Mortensen has been appointed as the executive director of The Career Services Office at Middlebury College. Prior to her acceptance of the Middlebury position, Ms. Mortensen was assistant director of career services at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

Ms. Mortensen is a graduate of Occidental College and holds degrees from Harvard Divinity School and the UCLA Graduate School of Education. She recently completed an MBA at the Simmons College Graduate School of Business in Boston.

Ms. Mortensen has previously worked as a foreign services officer in Copenhagen, Denmark, a teacher of leadership programs for Appalachian youth, and as the deputy director of the department of health policy and management at Harvard. She has also been a consultant and a trainer.

Describing her own career path as a "long, circuitous route," Mortensen said that one of her goals is to "save Middlebury students 10 years of thrashing." She said that she hopes to make Middlebury students aware of the benefits of working with her office, starting with the first year a student comes to campus. "Too many students tend to think of preparation for a career as something you don't need to think about until the final semester of your senior year," said Mortensen.

Success in the job market for Middlebury students, according to Mortensen, is partly a function of knowing what a specific employer is interested in and how to present themselves in ways that will reveal that value to those doing the hiring. But Mortensen believes that the process of persuading an employer of one's value as a potential employee is complicated and requires preparation. "It can't be learned 10 minutes before the interview," she said.

Mortensen characterizes the current employment climate for graduates of liberal arts colleges like Middlebury as hopeful. "Employers are increasingly concerned by the high salaries being sought by MBA graduates," she said. "Some of them are starting to realize that they can hire very talented people straight out of college for much less than a candidate with an MBA might cost. If you can hire two talented recent college grads for the price of one MBA and then develop the skills of the recent college grads yourself, you get more efficiency in your hire," said Mortensen.