Build a Network of Alums, Employers, and Career Center Staff
Written by Carol Ormand, based on ideas compiled from the 2007 workshop on the Role of Departments in Preparing Future Geoscience Professionals.
A key recommendation that arose from the January 2007 workshop on The Role of Departments in Preparing Future Geoscience Professionals was to keep track of your department's alumni, so that you can give specific examples of what students have done with degrees from your program. Most alumni are thrilled to be asked for their advice about how to best prepare students for their job, too. Here are some suggestions about and examples of how to work with your alumni.
Work with Local and Regional Employers
If there are any employers in your area who have employed more than one of your graduates, you have an opportunity to work with them to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your program in preparing students for those jobs. What knowledge, skills, and abilities are they looking for? Every job is different, so this kind of inside information can make a big difference in student advising.
Work with your Campus Career Services Office
The Career Services office on your campus exists to help students identify and prepare for the careers of their choice. To be successful, they need to know about your programs: what do you do, what kinds of students are you looking for, and what kinds of careers do your alumni pursue? What knowledge, skills, and abilities do students need to be successful in those careers? Help your Career Services staff to understand the world of geoscience careers, and they will help you and your students.
Observations from a Career Counselor
Julie Vick, from the University of Pennsylvania's Career Services office, offers her advice on how departments and career offices can work together in this presentation (Acrobat (PDF) 274kB Feb5 08) from the 2007 workshop on preparing future geoscience professionals.