Your question is tough because as you mentioned, it can be really hard to tailor coaching and support for such a diverse set of students! Even at my school where we have so many clubs that host events for resume workshopping and networking practice, there is still a frustratingly (and kind of oddly?) high number of students who still feel like they do not have great access to those resources and support. This is an issue that I myself am actively engaged in this semester to try to help solve--I feel like there's just no reason for anyone to have a shoddy resume or basic interview/networking skills!
That being said, I think building a network of volunteers who can help with resume-building and networking might be most helpful--especially if the network can somehow be grouped off into interest sectors (e.g. networking and interview prep for investment banking is very different from that of computer science or consulting or doing bizdev for a startup).
I feel that for younger students (or any student, including older ones, who want to move into a new industry), it's really important and valuable to get advice and guidance from someone who's really in the weeds and has gone through a similar recruiting process to the one that we plan to embark on. If the volunteers are people who are already established in their career or field, connecting the volunteers with students already begins to build a solid and organic networking base for the students. But this suggestion also makes me wonder about motivation and incentive for volunteers as well as quality control.
However, for older students who've hit a ceiling in their careers and simply need a degree in order to be promoted, I think having a more centralized trained staff to access would be more helpful since the college application and graduation process is much more formulaic and consistent than recruiting for specific jobs in specific industries.
These are just my thoughts/opinions/observations based on my personal recruiting and college experience though! Would love to hear if you've seen or observed anything different or contrary to this.
I really love this idea! I know I really struggled with deciding on a major and career path when I was an underclassman in college, and I wonder if I would still be going into consulting once I graduate in a few months if I hadn't felt like I had such limited options within my particular business school.
To be fair, I did try out a number of internships before I signed my full-time offer, but even that felt more restricting than your idea of having students consider what problem they'd like to solve and then engage on a project that aims to solve the problem. I find that when speaking to people today who have been in the workforce for decades, they don't realize how different the hiring landscape has become. I've had so many adults tell me that they were able to bounce around from acting to writing to just traveling before finally settling down with a definite career path, but I know that myself and many of my friends never got to explore as many passions, interests, and industries as we wanted to simply because getting an internship has become so competitive and we're often left feeling like we have to just take whatever we can get--a job's a job, right? Many of us end up getting boxed into a path by our freshman or sophomore year simply because we feel pressured to acquire certain internship experiences in order to perfectly fit whatever job opportunity we THINK we ultimately want.
This is a really interesting idea! Maybe I'm being a bit cynical, but I can't help but wonder--what's to stop someone (particularly those who are already really financially well off) from taking the sabbatical as a free vacation? (Or maybe it's meant to allow for an extended paid vacation like it is for tenured professors?) When someone takes the sabbatical, are they required to be taking classes or interning and showing proof of learning?
As someone about to graduate and enter the workforce, I am 100% behind the idea of getting a sabbatical, but I'm having a hard time seeing it scaled out to the entire population and put into action realistically (particularly given the current political climate and my impression that this can only be executed through policy change).