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Alumni Mentors

Are you an alum interested in sharing your professional background with current students? Would you like to discuss career pathways and have informational interviews? Do you have tools and resources to share that a student looking to break into your industry would benefit from? If so, you might want to consider becoming a member of the Alumni Professional Network through Stevenson Career Connections.

Current students enrolled at Stevenson have access to a list of industry professionals who have signed on to be part of this network. Whether they are looking for career guidance, insight into industries of interest, or general questions about their career path, Pro-Net connects students and alum, facilitating these conversations.

As a mentor, alum can choose how many mentees to have at one time and their preferred method of contact. The goal is to get a conversation started!

Tracey Cantabene, Villa Julie alum, and Events and Communication Coordinator for the Office of Career services at Stevenson, shares why she decided to become part of the Alumni Professional Network:

When people ask me about the school's name change, I often say that what has not changed is the genuine care and concern of the faculty and staff on campus. That environment is part of the reason I decided to participate in the Alumni Networking Program. This program allows students to network with professionals working in the field or within organizations they are interested in working for. Networking has always come easy to me, so this was an obvious decision.

Alumni participants are able to share industry knowledge, tell their personal career story, and influence future alums. My first mentee, for example, wanted internship ideas for the summer. I was able to suggest a variety of options and connect him with the Experiential Learning Coordinator in career services, Jennifer Wheeler.

Want to learn more? Read about the ProNet and the Alumni Mentoring Program.

Are you ready to join the network? Signing up is easy: Give back today.

Have you had a great mentor or mentee and would like to share your story? Email Jennifer Marin.

Book of ListsOn February 5, 2015 Stevenson University sponsored the Book of Lists Gala, an event hosted by the Baltimore Business Journal bringing together some of the most influential people in Baltimore to network and make connections. Stevenson University came well represented to the event, bringing along lots of Business Communication students to volunteer as well as have a chance to mingle with a crowd of very talented professionals.

As the career services staff moved along the crowds we asked ourselves what it really meant to network. Networking is an incredibly powerful tool for making new connections, finding new business, and landing a great job. But most of us have not been taught HOW to network, we’ve only been told the importance of attending events, meeting new people, shaking hands, and exchanging business cards.

In reality, networking is nothing more than making new friends and fostering new relationships. Networking is less about you, and a lot more about the people you come into contact with. It is easy to quickly become overwhelmed when you find yourself in an event with 300 well-dressed professionals. But networking is not about quantity, but the quality of the connections… here are some tips on how to work a room.

  1. Have an opening line. Walk up to someone and say hello, ask them why they’re attending. Yup, that’s it. Most everyone at a networking event is already prepared to talk to strangers, so you’re in luck! While approaching someone at the grocery store to ask them what they do might be seen as inappropriate, you’ll fit right in at a networking event.
  2. Be prepared to talk about yourself. Have you perfected your 30-second commercial? Being able to speak about who you are and what you do succinctly is key.
  3. Do Your Research. Find out who will be at the event, understand the issues relevant to the event and the people attending.
  4. Find something in common. Although most of us are passionate about our jobs, this is only one part of who we are as people. To get to know someone you need to learn who they are as a person, not just what they do for a living. Come up with a list of questions you would ask.
  5. Don’t underestimate the people you meet. Just because someone is not in your field or is looking for an opportunity just like you, does not mean that their connection is not worthwhile. You never know who someone might know. Referrals are just as good as meeting someone first hand. 
  6. Keep your word. People work with people they trust and find reliable. Your reputation is everything. Don’t overpromise and under deliver. If you tell someone you’ll follow up, do so! If you agreed to meet for coffee, make sure it happens!
  7. Pay it forward. By becoming a resource for your new contacts they will find the value in maintaining the relationship and will keep you in mind for other opportunities. It’s a two way street. Don’t expect your connection to give you anything more than their business card.
  8. Take notes. If you exchange business cards make sure to make yourself a note. You may collect a dozen business cards at one event, jotting down something memorable about the person or conversation will help jog your memory as you sift through the cards later.
  9. Follow-up immediately and check in! Just like you may forget all the people you meet, so will they. LinkedIn is a powerful tool for connecting with people as well as keeping notes on how you met them. A connection is like a plant, if you don’t water it, it will wither away. Periodically send them a note to say hello, update them on what you’ve been doing, share something of interest, invite them for coffee.
  10. Have an exit strategy. Make sure you know when to end a conversation and move on. “It was great meeting you, hopefully we can continue this conversation over coffee.”

Take a look at some of the photos taken at the Book of Lists. And remember, networking takes practice. The first step is to get out there and say hello!

Shira ConcoolIt is a privilege to join the dynamic and hard-working team here at the Office of Career Services.

I accepted the position of Assistant Director after moving to Baltimore from Atlanta, GA. Before joining the Stevenson family, some of my previous experience include acting as Coordinator of Career Services at Oxford College, Emory University, as well as a Counseling Extern at John Jay College in New York City. My background is in Mental Health Counseling (M.A. New York University) and African American Studies (B.A. Yale University) and I hold a license as a Graduate Professional Counselor in the State of Maryland.

My personal and professional interests include anti-racism organizing, acting in local theatrical productions, and marine conservation. Fun fact: Before pursuing an undergraduate degree I volunteered at The New Jersey State Aquarium and at the Dolphin Research Center (in Grassy Key, FL) educating the public and working directly with marine life.

As the liaison to the School of the Sciences I am enthusiastic about meeting with students in the School of Sciences (SOS) to help them identify and reach their career goals. I am a strengths-based counselor and will push students who come into my office and say “I haven’t done anything” to think creatively.

Every day that students in SOS attend class or lab, they are engaged in hands-on learning. I encourage students, especially those new to the workforce, to describe and highlight that coursework on their resumes. Don’t forget to list those lab skills either! It is my job as a career counselor to help students uncover and name their strengths and use them to pursue their Personal Direction. We can then build on the skills students already have to enhance Discipline Expertise and explore Professional Know-How.

I am also very excited to be leading the Career Peer Advisor Program. We currently have five wonderful Career Peers who provide resume/cover letter support during Walk-In Hours Monday-Friday from 1-3 p.m. (and 5-7 p.m. on Wednesdays), here at Wooded Way. They are also available to present on career–related topics to clubs on campus.

I look forward to collaborating with faculty, staff, and most importantly students at Stevenson to build strong relationships and uncover each of our many strengths!  

Feel free to make an appt. with me on Career Connections or email sconcool@stevenson.edu.

Service Learning at StevensonDo you want to make a positive difference? Do you want to take what you’re learning in the classroom and put it to real use in the community? Do you want to make an impact and do something worthwhile? If, so you may be interested in taking a service-learning course at Stevenson.

Service-learning at Stevenson allows students to apply the knowledge and skills that they have learned in the classroom to meet genuine needs in the community, while being mentored and supported by faculty and staff members.

For example, Film and Moving Image students use their technical filmmaking skills to create informational or promotional videos for local nonprofit community partners. Meanwhile, Public History students conduct much needed archival work and Education students work with local youth. Law Clinic students assist with pro bono legal services while Animal Psychology students volunteer at the local SPCA.

Stevenson students are actively engaged in service-learning and their participation in these authentic, hands-on experiences help them become skilled in relating theory with practice, ultimately, making them competent and competitive in their respective fields while enhancing their employment opportunities.

Check out why Stevenson students, faculty, and staff serve in this student-created video.

You can also see ways in which Stevenson students are making a difference by following our Facebook page.

Or if you’d like to be inspired, check out Wild Stang Radio on Tuesdays at 11 a.m. to hear interviews of with those serving the community along with inspirational songs.

To learn more about service-learning or to get involved, contact Dr. Christine Moran at cmoran2@stevenson.edu or 443-352-4496.

“What do I want to be when I grow up?” Our parents and teachers asked us this question countless times. Just because we think we’re grown, though, doesn’t mean this question doesn’t continue to nag us. Even as adults we have questions about managing time and moving forward in our career and making transitions. These aren’t the simplest tasks given the constraints we face and juggling priorities.

I get it. I went back to the university to earn additional graduate credits to obtain my license. It required holding down a very demanding full-time professional job while completing my studies at night and during the weekend. Long days at the office, class time, and remembering how to write an academic research paper late into the night while my husband was already softly snoring was a common scenario.

Even after I finished my classes, I still faced months of studying before sitting for the licensing exam. My time management skills certainly kicked in to gear and the energy spent was well worth the effort.

Career transitions may be challenging, but can also be rewarding. Stevenson graduates and adult students considering a career transition are encouraged to meet with a counselor in the Office of Career Services where we can help you through this process. This can be done in person, over the phone, or online.

This comprehensive evaluation will begin by asking the simple questions: Why change? Why now?

Has there been a significant event or life change that has sparked this movement? Are you considering a complete change in direction or simply a shift into a different industry? After exploring some of the reasons for making a change, we will identify your motivated strengths and build upon the industries of interest.

Finding the right fit also involves determining your personal values and finding a company that matches those values. Stevenson alumni and students can take advantage of networking with other grads and search for positions at all experience levels through the University’s online job recruiting tool, Stevenson Career Connections. The resources are vast and customized to meets your needs.

The notion of traditional and nontraditional students and career directions has changed and we must adjust accordingly to manage our careers effectively. We all need a tune-up from time to time, especially in this changing economy and world of work. Why not take stock now and map your future? Contact career@stevenson.edu or call 443-352-4477 to get started today. 

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