Mark Gasche
A Career Opportunity

Mark Gasche brings his passion for career coaching to Kellogg

While a work-study job as an undergraduate led him to career management, Mark Gasche knows that a gratifying career doesn’t come easy to most. And since joining Kellogg’s Career Management Center (CMC) as its managing director in January, Gasche has been working to empower students to manage their careers effectively and staff to serve a wide range of career needs.

Here, Gasche talks with us about coming back to Evanston and his plans for CMC.

K: What led you to Kellogg?
MG: For me, this is coming back home. From 1995 to 2000, I was a Northwestern University career counselor serving undergrads while living in Evanston. Kellogg is a great place with a positive student culture and talented colleagues. If I could go back to December, I would accept the job all over again. Kellogg is clearly merging the best of higher education with the good business practices and this is a great fit for me.
K: Given that job and career changes are more commonplace, what’s your philosophy on preparing students to manage their careers?
MG: People change jobs and even industries much more frequently now, and transition is thrust upon them in ways they can never foresee. Coaching sessions help us educate and train students to manage both their immediate career decisions and build general career management skills that will last forever.
K: In the past, you’ve spoken about how there is a lot more support for “non-traditional” job searches where students reach out to companies. How do you think these types of searches will help students find passionate, meaningful careers?
MG: The upside of the job search that’s not reliant on campus recruiting is that the sheer quantity of opportunity is larger and more diverse. It allows our students to lead with their interests and passion, and then find employment situations that fit their unique needs and wants.
K: What’s next for CMC?
MG: I want to give more attention to international students. They are a very diverse group, and when we have an international student who feels they are experiencing challenges that we can direct address and influence, we need to serve them better. We also launched Job Action Groups this year to help normalize and support the “just in time” internship or job search process. Finally, we want to communicate very clearly to students that we’re listening and in tune with what they need. They can approach us with feedback anytime and anywhere.
K: Kellogg brought 21 new companies to campus last year. What will recruitment look like under your watch?
MG: Kellogg brings a lot of Fortune 500 companies on campus to recruit, but what about niche markets? How can we bring companies that aren’t as established and well known to campus? I want to do more job development with companies for whom we don’t already have a relationship, and to elicit student input to help us target organizations aligned with their stated interests.
K: You’ve also had success with Career Treks, where students work with alumni to visit companies. Last year, more than 200 alumni helped more than 300 students visit 180-plus organizations on 37 treks. How important is it to get alumni involved in the recruitment process?
MG: In a word: essential. Alumni are valuable in so many ways inside and around the recruiting process. Current students are heavily influenced by strong alumni who can convey the message of the organization and help people get comfortable with the role and culture fit. Alumni are role models and influencers for most activities we sponsor, from treks to workshops to campus interviews.