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My Desk: Coffee, content and career conversations

From my desk

Lyndsey CrumLyndsey Crum
August 26, 2016

On my desk you'll find coffee, my iPhone and LOTS of UNC Bear-branded material. All things that you would expect a caffeine-rich, tech-friendly alumni director to have; but you'll also find mock-ups, doodles, story notes and content samples ranging from marketing to magazines and everything in between.

I may be an alumni director, but I'm a communicator at heart. My profession is all about building connections and sustaining relationships in support of an organization - a profession that I love - but I couldn't fulfill my role without tapping my inner communicator (with coffee in hand of course).

Words Matter

My colleagues jokingly quote me saying "words matter."

They may say it jest, but I truly believe that words matter and come to life in the content that we create, curate and share. 

Content, whether in marketing materials, personal correspondence or a call with a graduate, drives my work, and I believe drives others to action. 

Many of our alumni remain connected to our university through their college memories, others through the student stories that inspire philanthropy.  No matter the activity, it was content that drove the connection. And good content, like the cause it supports, is worth sharing.

So what does that have to do with a career conversation?  A lot.

Content and Career Conversations

At UNC, we are fortunate that our alumni love to share their stories and advice - they'll share with family, fellow graduates, friends and most of all current students.

Everything - well most everything - that they share serves up as great content.  Content to inform career advising, support enrollment marketing, or spread UNC pride among the alumni Bear Network.

We develop and drive much of our alumni content through our career programming. Each semester we invite alumni to campus to meet current students and recent graduates in order to share career stories, success and failures, and industry insider advice. We supplement on campus programs with digital access to alumni career advisors who aid in career explorations, mock interviews and resume reviews. Why?  Because we believe that alumni stories and insight (content) have the power to inspire our students toward academic completion and career readiness. 

This fall, our students will meet with business executives, alumni working overseas, and former student athletes who transitioned from collegiate competition to career success. I'm looking forward to each program and the career conversations that they create. 

One of the great privileges of my role is translating the diversity of alumni  stories and experiences into shareable content that will inspire others to action.  And since so many UNC alumni go on to develop amazing careers and make lasting contributions in their communities, I'm never at a loss to find an inspirational alumni story on my desk.

So cheers (coffee raised) to the educators, investors, nurses, executives, artists and others who translated their UNC education into careers that inspires.

Do you have a great UNC alumni story to share?  Let me know and make sure to follow the UNC Alumni Association to meet our alumni and the university programs that inspire their philanthropy and service.

(This post was also published on LinkedIn Pulse)