The University of Michigan LSA Opportunity Hub will offer LSA students free professional headshots beginning March 20. Located on the first floor of the LSA Building, the photo booth will be open to the public weekdays during regular business hours from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
In an interview with The Michigan Daily, Nada Tadros, LSA Opportunity Hub communications manager, said she hopes the initiative will increase access to professional headshots and help students build their professional identity. By utilizing a drop-in system, Tadros said the Opportunity Hub will allow students to access professional headshots on campus without a significant time commitment.
LSA students are not required to make a formal appointment and can access the booth after checking in at the Opportunity Hub’s Info Service Desk. After the photos are taken, students can access them via Iris Booth, a website which allows students to download their photos and edit them online.
Joslyn Johnson, assistant dean of student development and career initiatives, told The Daily the new initiative breaks down barriers for students who are bound by time constraints or can’t afford a professional photographer.
“It costs anywhere between $200 and $500 to get a professional headshot at most places,” Johnson said. “This allows students to add a headshot to their LinkedIn profile and broaden their prospects, as individuals who have a professional headshot in their profile are more likely to be recruited for job opportunities.”
Tadros reaffirmed the importance of accessibility for professional opportunities at the University.
“At the Hub we are helping students build their professional identity,” Tadros said. “In a very direct way, that headshot booth is allowing them to be able to see themselves as professional and debut that to the rest of the world.”
Information graduate student Gurpreet Bedi told The Daily he agreed with Tadros’s sentiment, and said he believes a professional headshot will allow students to showcase their best qualities as they apply for future positions.
“I think this program is valuable because my older profile picture was not professionally shot,” Bedi said. “I think that a professional photo will allow me to present myself properly when I apply for research programs and post-grad opportunities.”
Correction 3/9: free headshots are only available for LSA students at this time, though the Hub is considering opening it up to students from other U-M schools and colleges in the future.
Daily News Contributor Jovun Dhillon can be reached at email@example.com.