Connecting Students and Alumni for Career Success Excellence
Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier, interim executive dean and vice provost, and Brian Guerrero, senior director of the college's Center for Career and Professional Success, sent the following message to Arts and Sciences faculty and staff.
Building pathways to excellence, creating meaningful partnerships and providing essential support to our students as they chart a course for career success are key facets of our work in the College of Arts and Sciences. More than résumés, the Center for Career and Professional Success is the center of opportunity and connections for Arts and Sciences students as they define their professional objectives — with the support of alumni and professional champions around the globe. We are thrilled to share just a few highlights of what Career Success is accomplishing by successfully integrating Arts and Sciences alumni in support of student success, thanks to the launch of smart, impactful initiatives.
ASC Match 50 Mentor Program
A successful spring 2018 pilot program yielded the launch of the ASC Match 50 Mentor Program last October. Using career community interests as a starting point, the program matches 50 Arts and Sciences alumni with 50 current Arts and Sciences second- and third-year students to work through a set of predesigned modules during the academic year. The modules touch on subjects such as networking strategies, articulating the value of an Arts and Sciences education and underrepresentation in gender-dominated industries. Thanks to this success, the program will leverage referrals from current alumni mentors to expand the initiative college-wide in year two and give our alumni the opportunity to help pay forward their successes and insights. A shining example of alumni referrals in the program is Dean Gibson, current chair of the Department of Sociology’s Alumni Advisory Board, who, together with other dedicated alumni, has exercised influence and professional connections to find nearly a half dozen new mentors for the 2019-2020 academic year, ensuring this program’s continued growth.
Life Beyond Degree
Life Beyond Degree seeks to connect students from a particular major to alumni from that same discipline. Using a moderated panel format, Life Beyond Degree exposes students to various career pathways by giving them the opportunity to see diverse career options through meaningful interactions with alumni. Life Beyond Degree helps students see how the skills they are learning in their discipline can translate to multiple career paths. To date, Life Beyond Degree has launched in partnership with the following areas: anthropology, biological sciences, communication, English, film studies, history and psychology.
Partnering Across the College and the Future of Alumni Integration
Solidifying the great strides of this program is the center’s growing partnership with the college’s Office of Advancement and, by extension, the college’s Alumni Society Board. Looking ahead, Career Success will prototype other alumni-to-student engagements such as job shadowing and organization site visits where alumni expose students to professional life. It is through partnerships such as these that our students are being prepared for a lifetime of opportunity. If you know of alumni whom you would like to refer to the growing ASC Match 50 Mentor Program or are interested in hosting a future Life Beyond Degree within your area, please contact Career Success at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the College of Arts and Sciences, our alumni and our current students strive toward excellence, using their diverse talents and viewpoints to forge new paths to accomplishment. The Center for Career and Professional Success is helping to lead that charge by uniting our past and our present to create vibrant futures. We will leverage our diversity, tout our inclusiveness and celebrate our excellence because our faculty, staff and students are generating knowledge that changes the world — with the steadfast support of alumni and friends around the globe.