Hired a few weeks after UMBC’s first graduating class emerged into the working world, Betty Glascoe was the trailblazer in career services at UMBC. In her 35 years at the university, she developed the reputation of UMBC as a go-to university for businesses and government agencies.
What follows are edited excerpts from a recent UMBC Magazine interview with Glascoe.
On the early days of career services at UMBC:
I started at UMBC in July 1970. It was a very different place…. At the time, I didn’t know anything about a career services operation other than what I had been reading, so I decided to go to other colleges and universities on the East Coast – even as a far as New York – to see how they were functioning and serving the student population.
Also, I took the opportunity to visit employing institutions to ask them what would encourage them to come onto the college campus and hire students. Everyone was very helpful. College Park was exceptionally helpful. That gave me a beginning.
So I started programs. How to interview in an effective manner. How to dress for success. Nonverbal communication: How does one send a message that is positive or negative.
On hiring and the student culture of the 1970s:
Many of the students just didn’t have suits. Didn’t have any dress clothes or anything that would prepare them for meeting with an employer. We really had to talk about dress for success. What we did one time was we brought in Jos. A. Bank and Macy’s and some other stores to show [students] how to transition. We even had a store called The Limited for women. We showed them how to take two or three garments and move them around and make them work over a period of time. Changing blouses and shirts and sweaters and jewelry. We made sure they understood that you have to be very careful about what you wear and how you wear it and how you project. How to make sure it was the image they wanted to project.
On what motivated her:
I was determined that the students would have the opportunities that should be available to them…. I was so blessed with having the staff that I did. Everyone was extremely hard working, and always trying to develop new programs and services that were advantageous to the students and for the employing institutions. Programs and services that would enhance the image of the university. What was important to me was seeing how the contours began to change over time.