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Skidmore College

Career help for Skidmore Bostonians

March 27, 2013

A Skidmore event in Boston drew more than 100 student and alumni job seekers and changers with alumni and parent volunteers offering career advice, tools, leads, and more.

boston career event
Career experts offer advice.

Leveraging their Skidmore connections, more than 110 alumni and student job hunters and changers gathered with volunteers at Boston’s Colonnade Hotel March 14 for An Evening of Career Transition and Transformation. Offering serious face-to-face networking time with seasoned professionals in fields from architecture to education, finance to marketing, law to nonprofit management, the event was cosponsored by the College’s Career Development Center,  Office of Alumni Affairs and College Events, and Skidmore-Boston Planning Committee.

In a pre-event workshop called “The Road Not (Yet) Taken, Jenna Hartwell, associate director of alumni career development, championed the “magic” of networking—the way 80 percent of jobs are found nowadays—and described Skidmore’s career resources available to alumni their whole lives, including one-on-one counseling, resume writing help, and a network of 2,100 alumni and parent mentors.

Actor and career coach Adam Wald ’94 (a Skidmore alumni board member) also underscored the power of effective networking. He urged job seekers to “come up with a personal monologue—not just a rehash of your resume—that you are prepared with whenever a prospective employer says, ‘Tell me about yourself.’” He advised, “Market your liberal arts advantage—sell your ability to connect diverse concepts.”

After the next two hours of enthusiastic conversation, participants say, they came away with valuable insights and connections. Salesman Mike Levine ’92 felt the workshop was “excellent” and “the networking was amazing! It was very helpful—from brainstorming to gathering resume suggestions to getting actual job leads. I was glad to see Skidmore hosting this type of event.”

An operations director for a global property-services firm, Michael Losier ’99 said the workshop’s interactive format “allowed us to bounce ideas off of others in the group, and the networking event was also an excellent opportunity to speak with numerous alumni.”

boston career event
Feedback on career issues provided.

A teacher of English in the Far East who started a new real estate career, Liz Russell Hochberger ’82 benefitted from a wealth of “ideas, inspiration, camaraderie, and support. The best part about the workshop was that we left with concrete tools to use in our future endeavors. I would recommend it and the excellent networking opportunities to anyone who has their own business or is looking to change jobs.”

Melanie Lary ’00, laid off from a nonprofit last year, remarked, “Being unemployed for a while can shake one’s confidence, and workshops like this help remind us that we aren’t alone in this difficult process and that we can reinvent ourselves and succeed in this tough job market. I would happily attend again, particularly since it reminded me of all the great resources that Skidmore has to offer, including the wonderful alumni network available to us.”

Volunteer mentor Mil Ndwandwe ’10, an investment strategy consultant who visits Prof. Paul Calhoun’s course “Presenting the Brand Called Me” to share tips on landing a first job, underscored three keys to becoming a marketable professional: “Be competitive, identify and communicate your personal value proposition—what sets you apart—and seek alignment between what you want and what the world is willing to offer.” Volunteer mentor Kate Nedelman Herbst ’02, an assistant district attorney (as well as a Skidmore-Boston Planning Committee member and the alumni board VP for strategic communications), declared, “Tonight was a great success for alums of all ages. It demonstrates that Skidmore can provide a lot of professional opportunities for its alumni.” Her parting words: “Keep networking, and stay connected to the Skidmore family.”

For more alumni and student career events, click here.

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