CDO Has High Hopes for Future

Greetings from the Career Development Office!

The Career Development Office (CDO) wishes to thank The Student Life for the attention you have showed us during this year of transition. Since I came on campus September 1, I have been inspired by our students and the deep commitment of the college to consider just what we mean by a liberal arts education. This has been a very invigorating eight months and I am proud of the innovation that has had a positive impact on how the CDO can be relevant to all students, no matter their year or interests. Admittedly, it has been a team effort and we are especially grateful for the support from Head Sponsors who encouraged their groups to attend information sessions at the CDO. Thanks, Alex, Mindy, Thuy and Seanna! As a result, many more first-years have sought the services of the CDO than in previous years. Next fall we will build upon this experience with the Class of 2016.

Our always popular Pomona College Internship Program program remains a vital resource for students seeking internship opportunities during the school year. We now require students to be intentional about what this experience will mean for them in day-by-day commitments and in the value of the time invested in another community away from campus. Journaling is one activity that enables a student to be reflective while providing material for the telling of their “personal story.” The numbers of participating students indicate that these requirements were not a deterrent.

Each member of the CDO staff actively has sought opportunities for conversations with alumni around the country during our conference travels this year. We hope to bring more of these alumni career conversations to campus in the year ahead and on a frequent basis. This is where we need your ideas. Which organizations, industries and professions would you like to hear firsthand reports from – Sagehen to Sagehen? We are fortunate to have many talented alumni to call upon, and just as Pomona students represent an expansive variety of interests, so do our alumni. Your suggestions will enable us to extend invitations over the summer with dates for the 2012-13 year. Please email at me with suggestions.

Through the years the office has provided classroom visits upon faculty requests and assistance with career programs involving alumni. This year was no different, and many thanks to the professors who have extended these invitations. We will intentionally reach out to those departments we have yet to work with next year, and will continue to welcome invitations. In addition, the CDO Advisory Committee will welcome three professors to join the effort of this committee in re-envisioning the Career Office.

Student-to-student mentoring has a long history of success at Pomona College. Last fall we hired seniors who had job offers in hand to assist students with practice case interviews. This expanded the reach of the CDO to include hours more suited to student schedules—late nights and weekends. Recently we invited these same students—Ben Levin, Alan Mitchell and Ellie Shanholt—to serve as “Career Peers” to assist students with resume and cover letter editing. This trial program has been a success! In September we will aim to choose seniors who represent different majors and aspirations and will equip them with the training they need to be of assistance to their fellow students. Rising seniors, we hope you will consider coming on board the CDO!

Summer internships are important for all students, no matter their major. Some have begun to refer to the summer prior to senior year as “the high-stakes summer,” since it is the last time students can dedicate a significant amount of time toward a resume-building experience. Many internships are low or unpaid, which puts them out of reach for students dependent on summer earnings. Last year, generous gifts provided funding for eight students to pursue summer internships. Thanks to generous donors, we were able to award 26 students the funding they need for this summer. Once again, the requests for funding greatly exceeded the amount available.

There has been quite a bit of dialogue concerning the CDO these past two years. We remain welcome and appreciative of all commentary and constructive criticism. Wanda, Kerry, Iris, Sarah, Terry, Susanne, Merryann and I will continue to strive forward in our objective to provide career services reflective of the caliber of a Pomona education.

Best wishes for a great summer! The office will be open all summer, so let us know if we can be of assistance.

Mary Raymond

Director of Career Development & Associate Dean of Students

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