Dear Fellow Alumni,
Once again Wesleyan is at the forefront of a new trend: lifelong career counseling provided to all alumni at no cost.
Under President Bennet’s leadership, Wesleyan’s Career Resource Center (CRC) has become more responsive to the needs of alumni as they grow in their careers. It used to be that the CRC provided free advice and service for only three months after graduation. (Can you even remember where you were the September after you graduated–and what about the number of times you’ve changed jobs since then?) Now, says CRC Director Michael Sciola, Wesleyan offers career counseling at no cost, with no time limit, to all alumni. This program is unique among our peer institutions (though one or two have pilot programs based on our model!).
“Career counseling for our alumni has two-way benefits,” says Sciola. “We’re helping graduates translate their liberal arts degrees into jobs, and we’re creating long-term contacts with people who can provide job opportunities and internships for current clients, be they graduating seniors or alumni.” Mike’s personal goal is for every alumnus/a to think first of the Wesleyan community whenever he or she has a job opening or internship. That network would benefit all of us.
CRC staff member Rozanne Bernstein works with alumni who want to change jobs or rethink their careers, or who just need advice. She has been a career consultant for 25 years, most recently at Trinity College. I spoke to her and listened to her describe how she offers practical advice–such as how to negotiate salary for the first time or how to cope with on-the-job problems. She can help you practice presenting ideas to your boss, keeping your focus on the main, positive ideas stated in a pleasant manner, for instance: “You need to make this point clear, but don’t say it that way, because it sounds too shrill.”
Rozanne is great at helping people untangle ideas about what they want to do, and she helps shape previous experience into experience relevant to a new goal. In the trade, I hear it’s called “reframing” and Rozanne helps the alumni client do just that.
I like the concept of lifelong career counseling. The other day, my eldest daughter Colleen, who is almost 7, saw me filling out a form. She asked why I put a line through the place that said “work phone.” I told her I didn’t have one. I’ve done a lot of volunteer work, but I’m not currently employed. “You should write down Wesleyan’s number,” she told me.
I guess she understands the concept of reframing. Maybe I’ll be making an appointment with Rozanne.
Looking forward to seeing you on campus.
Yours in red and black,
Kate Quigley Lynch ’82
Chair, Wesleyan Alumni Association
Alumni can reach the Career Resource Center by calling 860/685-2180 or by sending an e-mail to CRC@wesleyan.edu.