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Our Name Story

By Farouk Dey, PhD, Dean of Career Education & Associate Vice Provost

It’s official! The CDC is now BEAM, Stanford Career Education. A story of paradigm shift wouldn’t be complete without a name change, and it was only a matter of time before the recent transformation of Stanford’s career development center would lead to a change in identity and name. This change also comes with the rollout of an improved website and a video that illustrates our story. Indeed, change is happening at Stanford!


The recent transformation of career education at Stanford began with a bold Vision 2020 in 2013 and continued with the collaboration and contributions of many partners around campus that have led to the introduction of a new connections model, integration of new software technology, and expansion of our team to 34 career educators who are dedicated to transforming students’ education and ambitions into meaningful work.  Under this new approach, students connect with career educators in meetups and appointments, attend the 17+ customized career fairs on campus, participate in industry treks in the Bay Area and around the US, and network with thousands of alumni in mentoring programs and connections databases.

So what’s in this new name? Every aspect of BEAM and Career Education was tested with many focus groups and carefully thought out and crafted with students’ success in mind.

  • Call us BEAM. We wanted a simple, memorable, and positive acronym that is driven by our vision statement: students transform their education and ambitions into meaningful work over the course of their lifetime. BEAM does all of that and stands for Bridging Education, Ambition, and Meaningful Work.
  • We educate, rather than place people in jobs. The use of Career Education is an intentional attempt to shift expectations from placing students in jobs to educating them about the process of cultivating their personalized networks to shape their professional journey and bridging their education and ambitions with meaningful work.
  • We are everywhere! The word “center” has been eliminated to emphasize a new institutional culture of career education that all stakeholders can connect with beyond the walls of a building, and continue to weave professional development into the fabric of the student experience. The days of a “brick-and-mortar” career services are over. Our career educators are connected everywhere on and off campus to help expand and leverage the Stanford ecosystem for our students.
  • Meaning rules everything. Yes, meaningful work has replaced “jobs” as the ultimate outcome for career education at Stanford. While landing jobs and internships is an important goal for students, their success today and beyond depends on their ability to develop and leverage networks as well as define meaningful work for themselves and bridge it with their education and ambitions.

It’s an exciting time at BEAM! Our career educators have been working around the clock this summer to be ready for our students, alumni, and employers. We invite you to join our movement. Meet our career educators, check-out our website, follow us on Twitter, and tell your friends about the change that’s happening at BEAM, Stanford Career Education.

What is the first image or thought that comes to mind when you hear BEAM? Tweet your thoughts and reactions to @StanfordBEAM


Read more about our vision, mission, and values.