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Washington State University
Dividend - Fall 2019 The Next Carson Coug

Carson Center for Student Success:
A Catalyst for Creating Value

Story by Sue McMurray • Photo by WSU Photo Services

Isaac Weil (’19 Mktg.) lacked confidence and leadership skills when he graduated from high school. In fact, he envisioned himself going through college under the radar, barely getting by. Despite these perceptions, Weil recognized he had a talent for creative problem solving and dreamt of becoming a brand strategist.

Influenced by a visit to the Carson College and by the University’s visibility in Spokane, his hometown, Weil chose to attend WSU. As a freshman he struggled, floating in the background, not feeling part of a community or that he could offer value.

Discovering the Carson Center for Student Success and the close-knit community within the Carson College changed all of that.

Carson Center Brings Value to the Forefront

After meeting a Carson Center student ambassador, Weil applied for a clerical assistant position in the center. Within a week, he had an interview and a job offer that put him on a path toward valuing himself and creating value for others.

“In my clerical assistant role I identified, assessed, and initiated opportunities to create value for the center,” says Weil. “If I saw something that needed fixing, I volunteered a solution or tried to help in any way I could. Every situation is a chance to grow and learn, and I tried to take advantage of that every day.”

Weil again found the Carson Center to be a catalyst when he needed an internship focusing on brand management and strategy. He was offered a marketing internship managing the center’s brand and creating social media strategy.

During his internship, Weil saw the center was not making the best use of its social media or brand. Each week he identified a concept, such as midterm preparation or job searching, and tailored social media messaging around it. He also helped apply this strategy to the college’s larger effort to consolidate its social media channels.

“My internship taught me how to manage a brand and strengthen its identity,” says Weil. “Working on a complex project from start to finish was a great experience for me. Everyone in the center valued my input, and I grew as a person.”

The Next Carson Coug: A Blueprint for Education and Life

The skills Weil practiced align with the goals of The Next Carson Coug (TNCC), the college’s newly implemented curriculum that ensures every Carson undergraduate will leave WSU with the professional skills needed to add value to organizations and communities. Among other measures, TNCC requires professional development experiences and high-impact practices such as networking and internships to round out social skills and help students make well-reasoned decisions about their careers.

As a result of his Carson Center experience, Weil says he is prepared to embrace all that life throws at him.

“I gained a lot of self-confidence and learned that leadership is more than just telling people what to do,” he says. “For me it’s about being my authentic self and helping businesses and people make a difference in the world by doing the same.”