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My Desk: Alumni engagement for positive student experience

From My Desk

Chris GarciaChris Garcia
August 26, 2016

From my desk, I prepare... It's a fact, Fall 2016 is already upon us.

I've spent the past few months re-imagining, re-working, and re-branding alumni career engagement and what it means for the University of Northern Colorado experience. All while doing my best to ensure that we are providing options on campus, online, and opportunities that are also available for students and graduates on their time.

Throughout the summer, I've also been traveling throughout the state connecting with current Alumni Career Advisors (ACAs). Learning more about each of their UNC student experiences, exploring their interest in sharing their time and expertise, and discovering what the UNC Bear Network has meant to them since graduation. These ACAs work across industries: urban planning, education, performing arts, and sustainability, and they honor us by giving of their career insight for the next generation of leaders, our future Bear graduates.

These interviews help us tell UNC's story, share alumni successes, and give life to the impact ACAs are having on current UNC students and fellow graduates. Their work will also serve as collateral in academic and career advising sessions, be highlighted in admissions materials, and be utilized as alumni features on the websites and publications of our extraordinary academic colleges.

On the programming side, we're always looking for meaningful ways for students and alumni to connect on campus. The fall will be filled with Success Looks Like ME career networking opportunities for students and recent graduates. All events are FREE, include networking training, an alumni panel of experts, and a networking session.

Our first event will focus on Business Careers (9/22), tapping into the expertise of alumni working in Finance, Marketing, CIS, and Management.
The next will highlight alumni who are Former Student Athletes (11/9) and the career paths they've taken since crossing the finish line at UNC.
And our third program of the fall will be our first-ever online event through Brazen, and will focus on the successes our graduates have had in the International Arena (11/3).
We've also been partnering with our career counseling colleagues to look at new ways of fostering student and alumni networking through the use of the UNC Connectonline career mentoring platform.

For undecided students, it's a great way to reach out to ACAs working in the fields that interest them, ask questions on academic and career pathways, gauge interest in similar academic areas, and take a tangible step toward their futures.
For students who've already decided their academic track, it's a great way to explore industry career options, have mock-interviews with industry insiders, and get tips on effective resume writing from alumni working in the firms they are interested in.
Last, but not least, we'll be launching a series of career webinar courses for quick career related guidance. Alumni and students can connect on their time, utilizing webinars available through UNC Connect, and look into topics such as: interview prep, social media presence, resume writing, and/or specific career interest areas. Watch for these by visiting our website later this fall.

Are you ready for fall alumni career programming? You better be, because it's here!