Brenda Yang has been named assistant director of career communities at UW-Madison’s College of Letters and Sciences, where she will help head up the SuccessWorks program, she announced in a social media post last week.
Yang, who is also a Dane County Board Supervisor, most recently worked for more than seven years with Upward Bound, preparing high school students from marginalized populations for college. With Success Works, she’ll help L&S students navigate the university and career connections.
“It’s not enough just to get into college,” she said. Students also have to know “how to navigate the career aspect.”
SuccessWorks supports the nearly 20,000 students of the College of Letters & Sciences through career readiness resources and connections with internships and job prospects.
Yang said students who finished high school or started college during the pandemic face challenges related to the isolation of remote learning.
“I’ve noticed that the trend right now … is having to learn social emotional (skills),” like working in a team or conducting oneself with confidence in a job interview. “I noticed that working with high school students as well, that not having those social emotional skills was also very disparaging on their perception of themselves. It also impacts their mental health.”
Yang begins her new job next week. She also intends to continue graduate work in educational leadership and policy analysis.