|• Fall 2002||Magazine Archive & Search • Muhlenberg Home|
T he Office of Career Development and
Placement is responsible for providing undergraduates with valuable
information and guidance in preparation for entering the work force.
The office, directed by Lynda Garow Grossman, is a vital career-building
resource from which a majority of students seek assistance over the
course of their four years at Muhlenberg.
BY LUCAS TOMANELLI '04
The OCDP’s approach consists of working not only with the students, but also with a network of dedicated alumni who have volunteered their expertise and career knowledge in order to give back to the College. This growing resource, known as the Muhlenberg Career Network, includes more than 1,500 alumni, as well as parents and friends of the College who are interested in talking with current students about their careers. Its members range from recent graduates to retirees, so the available knowledge in each particular professional field truly covers all levels of experience.
The OCDP leverages the Career Network to sponsor two very successful programs – Alumni in the Classroom Week and the Muhlenberg Shadow Program. Both programs serve as an introductory look at an extensive range of professions and academic disciplines.
Alumni in the Classroom does this through a week-long schedule of sessions
available to the entire
“We’ve added more ways to connect students with alumni. With that grant, we have had the opportunity to expand the program, and more alumni came back last fall as a result,” she says.
A joint effort between faculty, the Alumni Relations Office, and the OCDP, Alumni in the Classroom Week centers on three main components: classroom presentations, informational interviews and career panels.
For the classroom presentations, faculty members invite alumni back to campus to speak to classes regarding a specific topic related to their course. Kevin Alansky ’94 was contacted by the Alumni Relations Office in the summer of 1999 after being recommended by Professor Holmes Miller of the business department. Alansky happily accepted the invitation and lectured to one of Miller’s business courses about the Internet economy.
Alansky, who did the classroom presentation two years in a row, prepares for each session by speaking with the professor prior to his campus visit.
“I try to talk to Professor Miller about the few weeks (of course work) leading up to the event so that I can provide similar patterns to make it relevant,” says Alansky, who prefers to conduct each session on a less formal basis so that students are less tense.
Plus, Alansky believes making his presentation an open forum is valuable because the students are free to participate as they wish. Alansky measures the effectiveness of his effort by the extent to which students participate in the discussion. He asks himself certain questions such as “Was I able to communicate my message?” and “Did it measure up to what they were doing in the course work?” If these objectives are satisfied, says Alansky, then the presentation was successful.
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