A 'Win-Win' Situation

Career Connections

Career Connections

Video by Joe O'Neill

Students network with alumni professionals in two major cities

by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson

A resume outlining skills, knowledge and experiences is a must for the job hunter, but it is not always enough. Most successful job seekers know that the number-one way professionals find that job of their dreams is through networking. But how to begin?

More than 100 students took the mystery—and the potential terror—out of networking this month when they made contact with top professionals during two Career Connections events. The annual trips brought students into top work environments in two major cities, giving them an up-close view of day-to-day professional life and connecting them with successful alumni and parent professionals in fields they’d like to explore.

Students traveled to New York City on Jan. 15 to visit the offices of The New York Times, Sotheby’s, JPMorgan, NBC Universal, ESPN, the Asia Society and other major organizations. They also met with government and industry leaders at the U.S. House of Representatives, the Environmental Protection Agency, Population Services International, U.S. Department of State, National Gallery of Art and APCO Worldwide during a Jan. 13 trip to Washington, D.C.

And, after soaking up the professional atmospheres—and picking up pointers from Phil Jones, dean of career development—it was time to take the plunge. Each Career Connections day concluded with formal networking receptions, where students had an opportunity to introduce themselves to potential mentors, exchange contact information and seek one-on-one career advice. The Washington, D.C., trip also included a small-group tour of the White House’s West Wing, courtesy of a Dickinson alumnus who is a White House employee, and a panel discussion on Capitol Hill with Rep. Bill Shuster '83, organized by Rob Borden '91. 

Bill Shuster

As part of the Washington, D.C., event, students met with alumni congressional staffers and U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster '83 (pictured above).

“It’s always nice to know someone [who may be able to help you] get your foot in the door … and this is the perfect way to do it,” said Graham Parsons ’16, an international business & management major who attended the New York reception, held in the stately Princeton Club. And, as Lisa Gutenstein Silvershein ’84, P’14, founder of Ark Career Coaching, noted, the benefits are potentially lifelong.

“It’s a win-win,” said Silvershein, a member of the Alumni Council and one of approximately 100 New York-based alumni who attended the Jan. 15 reception. “You’re helping [the students], you’re giving back … and you’re also meeting other alumni. I mean, I met some really interesting people tonight.”

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Published January 20, 2015