Colgate career services center’s innovative approach highlighted in Atlantic article

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Many seniors wore the No. 13 on their mortarboards throughout commencement weekend. (Photo by Andy Daddio)

Michael Sciola and the Center for Career Services have refocused how they support students and graduates.

In an Atlantic magazine article titled “A New Goal for Colleges: No One Moves Back Home After Graduation,” Michael Sciola, director of the university’s Center for Career Services, says he agrees with that goal.

“By the time you’re a senior in college, you’re the best at your profession. Nobody’s better at being a student than a college senior,” says Sciola in the article. “Then in May … we lay you off.”

Sciola says the way to make post-grad life less daunting and keep students from feeling lost is to teach them about the realities of the workplace. At Colgate, that is achieved through programming such as Real World, a year-long series for seniors that facilitates alumni networking, class unity, and discussions about life-after-Colgate-skills.

Real World, and career services in general, offers internships, courses, mock-interviews, and counseling for current students.

“Colgate is doing a great job of adjusting the way they prepare their students with changes in the economy,” said Kelly Henderson ’09, who participates in Real World. “I love being a resource at these events and couldn’t praise career services more for all they do for current students and alumni – who are really just students for life. Colgate truly teaches students to be lifelong learners and masters of adaptation.”

Working together, career services and the Office of Alumni Relations are launching seven professional networks. The networks are the Real Estate Council, the Colgate Entertainment Group, the Finance Network, the Digital Media and Technology Network, the Entrepreneur Network, the Health and Wellness Network and the Common Good Network.

These networks support undergraduate professional development, promote alumni engagement with Colgate, and cultivate new professional opportunities for members. For current students, they offer a window to explore which field they might want to pursue. For alumni, professional networks offer a way to connect with other alumni within their chosen fields.

Sciola is becoming a go-to source for media interested in the changing face of career services in higher education, having also been quoted in a US News and World Report in September. He also is being appreciated by students right here at Colgate.

Alexandra Macey ’14 wrote on Twitter: “Just had a wonderful meeting with Colgate office of career services. Mike Sciola was so helpful & attentive and got me on Navigate!”

What do you think of the professional networks? Which one will you join?