Developing Next Generation Career Services

Strategies for Increasing Alumni and Employer Engagement

Topics: Internships and Co-Op Programs, Career Services, Student Experience, Student Affairs, Student Employment, Experiential Learning

Job Search Summits

Bringing People Together at the Right Moment

Colgate University’s Real World Conference

Colgate University’s annual Real World conference brings together seniors and a range of alumni for a two-day event on campus before the start of the spring semester. The conference is timed to coincide with the alumni board meeting, which ensures that 50 to 60 highly engaged alumni will be on campus and available to participate in the event.

 

In addition to recruiting board members, career services works with alumni affairs and the senior class council to invite other alumni to the conference to ensure a diverse group in terms of age, profi le, industries, and backgrounds.

Bringing People Together at the Right Moment

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Real World Conference Agenda at a Glance

Excerpt from 2011 Program

The conference agenda includes a range of sessions covering topics from job search strategies to networking techniques to evaluating benefi ts packages. Council interviewees suggest the broad agenda ensures there are sessions for a variety of students ranging from the person who is just beginning to look for a job to the student who has already been accepted to graduate school.

The conference panels provide practical advice at a time when seniors need it most as they consider moving to a new city, renting their own apartment, and choosing benefit plans.

Real World Conference Agenda at a Glance

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Helping Students Get Practical Advice...

…When They Need It Most

Council interviewees report that this long-standing annual event is a success for alumni and students. For alumni, it is a chance to engage with students and provide practical advice at a time when it can make a difference for individuals. Similarly, students have an opportunity to make connections, get advice, and begin thinking about the transition to life after college.

The Real World conference has been so successful that Colgate is developing a similar event targeted at sophomores, which will take place over homecoming weekend. The goal of the new conference will be to help sophomores explore career opportunities earlier, covering topics such as internships, graduate school applications, and the recruiting process.

Helping Students Get Practical Advice...

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Entrepreneurship is a Hot Topic for Today's Students

Both Current and Future Students Interested in This Terrain

Another strategy to broker smarter matches is to bring alumni and students together around hot topics such as innovation and entrepreneurship. Interviewees suggest that a growing number of students are now coming to campus interested in starting their own companies. For these students, the opportunity to connect with alumni who have launched their own business or acted as angel investors is an invaluable experience.

Entrepreneurship is a Hot Topic for Today's Students

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High Profile Industry Mentors

Entrepreneurial Coaching