by Abbey Falk, senior majoring in Marketing
With the current economic climate having an effect on everyone on the career ladder, experienced workers are seeking job advice now more than ever. In order to assist in this area, the Smeal College of Business is now offering career services for alumni with the goal of assisting Smeal grads in times of job transition and to offer networking and professional connections to both students and alumni.
For years, Penn State has had an Alumni Career Services office, which is a partnership between Career Services in the Division of Student Affairs and the Penn State Alumni Association. The office offers a variety of services including career development, resume critiques and interview preparation, career assessments, phone and in-person appointments, networking assistance, and career workshops and seminars. These services are available to alumni from all majors and from all Penn State campuses.
Smeal’s Alumni Career Services office is set up to specifically serve the needs of business graduates. Now in a pilot phase, its services will eventually include career development tools, tips for sharpening interview skills, webinars, and job postings for both job seekers and recruiters seeking to hire recent graduates to experienced alumni. Additionally, SmealConnect, the college’s exclusive online community, will maintain its presence as a destination for job opportunities, career resources, and networking. SmealConnect is available to all Smeal graduates, and provides alumni with connections to their former classmates and other industry professionals.
Robin Stevens, an integral member of the Smeal community since 1995, has been named director of Alumni Career Services. During her time at the college, she has significantly enhanced the undergraduate and MBA internship programs, developed career-related classes and initiatives, and nurtured relationships with employers throughout the nation to benefit Smeal students.
Now Stevens is committed to forming relationships between recruiters, alumni, and students. “Part of the success of this new program depends on developing strong relationships with seniors, and helping them utilize the service, so in turn they will stay actively involved in the Smeal community,” Stevens said. “We are of course looking forward to working with our more experienced alumni as well.”
Stevens also wants to expand the Wall Street Boot Camp educational concept to every major and field of concentration within Smeal. Wall Street Boot Camp is a training program she created to better prepare students who aspire to have careers in the highly competitive field of financial services. The sessions teach students firsthand the skills they need to succeed and provide opportunities to network with Smeal alumni serving as guest speakers.
The initial phase of Smeal Alumni Career Services is a building process. In the coming years, the program will provide more cohesive and long-term connections between students, alumni, and the college. To help get to that point, the Alumni Career Services office is interested in understanding the career needs of its alumni and how it can provide the best services to meet these needs. Please take a few moments to complete a brief survey to assist the college in the next phase of this initiative.