In looking at the world of work, we often let ourselves imagine that entering it was easier in the past, the way well-worn and clearly laid out. However, that has never really been the case. What has remained a solid truth is that relationships and understanding what we bring to them have been the key to connecting with opportunities over time. The way we work and what we do during the work day has changed over the years, but the essential building blocks to entering the professional arena is our community and our ability to tap its potential.
Knowing the ever-increasing importance of relationships and the positive impact that comes from developing a network of people who can provide advice and insight, the staff in the Office of Career Advising and Development (CAD) strives to help students and alumni unlock their individual support systems. Added to that mission, we know that the COVID-19 pandemic brought on a sea change; the world of work looks different than it did even 10 years ago, let alone 50, and connectivity is at the center of finding one’s way.
The CAD office, with this understanding in mind, has evolved in the ways we deliver support, opportunities and knowledge to current students and recent graduates. Offering numerous online resources, teaching career-related practicums, supporting the Manresa program, facilitating mentor programs, using Canvas (Le Moyne’s online classroom system) to share career-foundation content, and developing strategies to help students and alumni tap into their goals and ambitions, Career Advising and Development is meeting Dolphins where they are and helping them move forward. We do not do this work alone. Students often rely on faculty for their sage perspective and career advice. This is why Career Advising and Development sponsors the Faculty Career Mentor Awards to recognize outstanding career mentors and their efforts to integrate career development into the academic experience.
This multi-dimensional approach is working, as 97 percent of recent graduates reported they were working, attending a graduate program, or volunteering full time. This number seems straightforward, but it shows a deeper commitment on the part of recent graduates to find their way in this changing economy. Recent graduates are working remotely, finding consulting assignments, starting their own enterprises, and connecting with alumni to better understand the choices they will make moving into the future.
Leslie Bailey Streissguth is the associate director of the Office of Career Advising and Development and an instructor in the Department of Communication and Film Studies