Alumni Opportunities to Advise BC and its Students Abound
By BCEEAN Newsletter Staff
Academic year 2016-2017 offers multiple opportunities for alumni to share career insights with the University and its undergraduates.
BC will hold a webinar on Nov. 15, 2016 at noon on the University’s new Strategic Planning Initiative, an effort to identify institutional priorities for the next decade. University President William P. Leahy, S.J. explained the impetus behind the initiative: “Given the pressures and challenges facing higher education, now is an especially appropriate time to assess our progress over the past decade and develop a new strategic plan to carry us for the next 10 years.”
The November webinar will feature presentations by Provost David Quigley and Executive Vice President Mike Lochhead, co-chairs of the initiative. The call should last no more than 1 hour. There will be an opportunity to ask questions and interested alumni can submit written comments afterwards.
A similar presentation has been made to staff, faculty, and students; the objective of this webinar is to enable alumni to have input in establishing the initiatives’ broad overarching goals.
Alumni can register for the webinar here.
For alumni interested in direct student mentoring, there are a variety of opportunities to engage with undergraduates. New this year, a STEM (Science, Technology, Environment, Math) Career & Internship Fair on Oct. 19, 2016 allowed undergraduates to meet face-to-face with potential employers. Companies in the environment and sustainability field participating in the program included: Earthwatch Institute, EBI Consulting, Level Solar, Red Hat, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, and the New England Aquarium.
A Job Shadow Program, scheduled to occur during winter break, Jan. 3 through 17, 2017, matches undergraduates with alumni and active employers for short-term (usually one day) job shadowing and mentoring experiences. This “day in the life” of a professional in the office gives students valuable insight into what it would be like to work in a given field. Students may observe client/customer interactions and sit in on staff meetings or discuss career pursuits and aspirations with professionals.
Students are matched based upon their industry and location preferences as well as the connection between the student’s goals for participation and the criteria of the hosting organization. Job Shadow opportunities are available nationwide; over 250 externships were completed last year.
The Endeavor program, Jan 11-13, 2017, targets sophomores pursuing degrees in the liberal arts. This three-day career exploration program entails lively conversations, hands-on activities, career treks into Boston, and panel discussions with alumni professionals. Participating students explore, reflect, and learn how to act on their career interests and goals, discover how a liberal arts degree can provide an edge in the workplace, and hear career advice from a BC alumnus/a Career Coach.
The program is designed to help liberal arts students gain greater clarity about their career options and to respond to the realities of a changing job market. “In the past, it was sufficient for students to start thinking about how to position themselves for career success as late as their senior year,” said Associate Vice President of Student Affairs for Career Services Joseph Du Pont. “In today’s marketplace, employers expect students to have greater clarity about their career goals earlier, and students, in turn, have asked us to provide more career preparation earlier in their BC experience. We are excited to respond to that need.”
Alumni who participated in last year’s inaugural program gave it high marks for both the degree of student interest and the program’s interactive format. Steve Venezia '76, Deputy General Counsel, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, observed: “BC’s Endeavor Program was a unique and appealing opportunity to share one’s career path with BC undergraduates. I believe that many of the students needed reassurance or affirmation that their choice of a liberal arts education would not frustrate or impede their desire for both a meaningful and rewarding career in this era of high tech and specialization.”
Alumni interested in participating in any of these mentoring programs may register directly on the Career Center website or notify BCEEAN at firstname.lastname@example.org.