Helping Students Find Career Success

Serena Aunon

Left to right: Alumna Serena Aunon, SEAS BS ’97 and SEAS Dean David Dolling at the 2013 “How Do I Become A NASA Astronaut?” lecture.

Finding a job after graduation is a priority for nearly every college student, and the process can be full of ups and downs. Curious how today’s Colonials are faring as they navigate life after GW?

GW today recently reported that, according to an annual survey released by GW’s Center for Career Services and the Office of Survey Research and Analysis, 92 percent of GW grads have found full-time employment, continued their education or engaged in military and philanthropic service.

In order to prepare students for this crucial step after graduation, GW provides an array of career services, from résumé critiques to networking events. Many of these opportunities also involve GW alumni, who give their time, advice and support to students through a variety of programs.

As we recently learned from graduating senior Jessica Hoffner, GWSPH BS ’14, “what makes GW so special [is] countless alumni leaders, who are experts in their fields [that] remain active and involved with GW undergrads.”

Last month, GW wrapped up the Campus to Career Series—a cadre of networking events that connects GW juniors and seniors with alumni in a variety of industry paths.

A collaborative effort between GW’s Office of Alumni Relations, Center for Career Services and the Center for Student Engagement, Campus to Career is part of the university’s FutureU program series. Designed to both provide and enhance critical life skills, this series helps students prepare for graduation and the transition into the “real world.”

The 2014 events, focused on juniors and seniors, drew nearly 300 students and more than 50 alumni to network at Alumni House throughout March and April.

In addition to Campus to Career events, students can take advantage of the Dinner with Alumni Program, which pairs groups of students with alumni in a variety of industries. Launched in 2004, the program has now touched more than 1,000 students. Last year, 56 alumni welcomed more than 250 students to dinner in the DC area to discuss career interests and offer professional advice.

GW also offers the “How Do I Become A…” lecture series, which brings distinguished alumni back to campus to provide insight on their career paths and network with students who are interested in their fields.

And what about recent grads who are still looking for networking opportunities? They can partake in alumni career services, including two favorites: Virtual Networking Hours and GWebinars.

Capitalizing on the GW Alumni Association LinkedIn Network, the Virtual Networking Hours series gives Colonials all over the world the chance to connect with fellow alumni, share experiences and exchange career tips. More than 2,000 Colonials from 40+ countries and 35+ states have participated in the series, and the numbers continue to rise.

Similarly, GWebinars, an online professional development series delivered by GW alumni, staff, faculty, parents and industry experts, is available to Colonials worldwide. Topics range from entrepreneurial advice, to leadership tips, to being an introvert in the workplace, and past webinars are always available on demand.

Services like these not only important networking tools and career advice, but they also bolster GW’s bond to its students. As Hoffner explains, “these programs create an immediate sense of community for undergraduates.  [In] doing so, they strengthen the desire to continue that relationship long after graduation.”

–Have you found work through a GW connection? Tell us about it: cable@gwu.edu.

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