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

Entrepreneurial Coaching

Responding to an Unmet Need at Colby College

Students Are Interested in Entrepreneurship But Lack Resources

At Colby College, the career center partnered with alumni, faculty, and the local business community to create the Entrepreneurial Alliance, a year-long program for students on entrepreneurship. The program is open to all students regardless of major. Council interviewees noted that the idea to create the program came from a realization that there weren’t enough resources on campus for entrepreneurship.

Responding to an Unmet Need at Colby College

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Leveraging Institutional and Community Strengths

Faculty, Alumni, and Business Leaders Serve as Program Mentors

 

The Entrepreneurial Alliance includes workshops, panel discussions, and presentations led by a mix of alumni, faculty members, and community business leaders. Alumni also volunteer to act as mentors, helping students with a range of tasks from brainstorming business ideas to providing feedback on website concepts. The program culminated in a seed-funding competition where students presented their business plans to a panel of judges.

Leveraging Institutional and Community Strengths

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Introducing My Fresh Maine

Colby’s Entrepreneurial Program Results in New Startups

In Spring 2011, two student projects were selected as the seed-funding competition winners, receiving $10,000 and $5,000 awards. Several companies were launched as part of the program, including one of the contest winners, My Fresh Maine, which ships local produce and artisan goods to nearby states.

 

Overall, Colby’s program provides a way to bring together engaged students, knowledgeable alumni, and community business leaders around the topic of entrepreneurship, greatly increasing the quality of the interactions for everyone involved.

Building on the pilot’s success, Colby has already launched the 2011-2012 Entrepreneurial Alliance program with a robust group of students, community members, and alumni participants.

Introducing My Fresh Maine

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"Treating Entrepreneurship as a Job"

The Launch Pad at the University of Miami

A focus on innovation and entrepreneurship led the University of Miami to create the Launch Pad, a venture coaching program embedded in the institution’s career center. The program is open to all students and alumni regardless of major. Interviewees emphasized how the Launch Pad’s goal is to give participants the long-term skills needed to identify and analyze their potential business ideas.

Treating Entrepreneurship as a Job

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Connecting Entrepreneurs to Resources at the Right Time

The Launch Pad Provides Customized Advice and Information

Launch Pad participants have access to an array of resources, including individual coaching sessions, workshops, and large-scale events. The program also creates opportunities for students and alumni to connect with local business leaders, investors, and lawyers around topics such as fi nancial modeling, market analysis, and social media marketing.

Connecting Entrepreneurs to Resources at the Right Time

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Positive Results from Investing in Entrepreneurship

The Launch Pad Taps into Students’ Desire to Innovate

Across the past three years, the Launch Pad has produced impressive results including 45 companies started by students and alumni covering a range of areas from mobile apps to re-usable rocket technology to boutique cosmetics. Council interviewees also noted that they are excited to have Launch Pad alumni come back to campus and share lessons learned with current participants.

The Launch Pad concept is currently being rolled out to other regions by The Blackstone Foundation as part of the 2011 Startup America Initiative.

Positive Results from Investing in Entrepreneurship

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Deriving Two-Way Value

Creating Networking Communities that Benefit Students and Alumni

Council research shows that the key to brokering smarter matches is to fi nd ways to narrow the pool of students and alumni. By creating differentiated forums, career services can connect engaged students with the alumni who are best positioned to give advice and guidance. As a result, this narrowing process helps to increase the quality of the interactions and the ability to derive value.

Deriving Two-Way Value

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Job Search Summits

Improving Employer Development Yield