Alumni Western Be Extraordinary The Campaign For Western

Help wanted

by Robert Collins, BA'77

Do you remember when this title was used to advertise Employment Opportunities? Well, today, the debate about how much focus that a university should place on preparation for specific careers is even more prevalent as concerns with youth unemployment, anticipated skills shortages and priorities for scarce funds increase.

Wherever you stand on this continuum (and Western founders wisely positioned it as Veritas et Utilitas, Truth AND Usefulness, rather than either/or), I believe it is incumbent upon us all to extend a helping hand to fellow alumni and students as they explore, navigate and advance on their career paths.

So, what are some ways that we can all provide meaningful help?

Accept a call from a student or alumni and share your insights and link them to people and opportunities. This is a common expectation of alumni from major US universities (including the one with the single word motto, Veritas!). Experience their enthusiasm and energy!

Give an Information Interview so that a keen career seeker can pose their questions and experience your work setting and sector. Please consider giving a tour and providing referrals to your network. Explore your shared "purple and proud" experiences. Become a mentor or host a work experience so that your enterprise is developing its talent pipeline and building its brand in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Opening doors is mutually fulfilling!

Alert Western to Career Opportunities through a faculty based contact or Western has a wonderfully broad base of talent for you to draw upon and these contacts provide a great opportunity for job searchers to find you.

Attend a Career Day /Job Fair or Networking Event so that your profile and connections continue to build and realistic expectations are shared meaningfully. With over 260,000 alumni in over 150 countries, we have the potential to collectively enhance the value of Western’s total educational experience and its contributions to the workplaces of today and tomorrow . . . as well as provide that all important “helping hand.”

Robert Collins is president of Western’s Alumni Association

This article appeared in the Spring 2013 edition of Alumni Gazette
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