Yale students and alumni are working together to create an organization that will broaden and structure student-alumni interactions and career discussions starting this spring.
The proposed organization will coordinate career panels, mentorship programs and service days for both current students and alums in an effort to provide more structure to student-alumni relations. Plans for the group were drafted by five undergraduates, five graduate students and five alums, and the organization will include representatives from the Yale College Council, the Association of Yale Alumni, and the Graduate and Professional Student Senate. Though the group remains in the early stages of development, the YCC emailed a survey to students last week asking them to rank a variety of potential collaborative initiatives for the upcoming program.
“We’re trying to put together a framework for many opportunities that students and alumni are seeking to bring them together,” said Sara Egozi ’12, who is serving on the organization’s 15-member planning committee.
The organization will allow students and alumni to interact in a format not currently facilitated by Yale’s Undergraduate Career Services or AYA, Egozi said, adding that demand for this kind of organization has come from both students and alumni looking to strengthen their relationships.
UCS Director Allyson Moore said the panels in particular will be a great opportunity for alumni to share tips and skills required for success in fields that are not always on the forefront of UCS’s agenda. The organization plans to host at
least 10 career panels in collaboration with UCS this spring, she added.
“Career panels provide students with insightful and invaluable first-hand information about various career paths and work trends,” she said.
The idea to hold career panels in conjunction with AYA was originally conceived last year by the Junior Class Council, said Angie Ramirez ’12, the 2010-’11 JCC president. She said the JCC had hoped that establishing career panels would make the council more than a social organization, and would also help introduce students to employment opportunities in fields that UCS had not always advertised, such as computer science and education.
The JCC held five panels last year with audiences that ranged from 20 to 50 people, Ramirez said, adding that she believes those panels laid the groundwork for the developing student-alumni organization.
Though YCC President Brandon Levin ’13 said he thinks Ramirez handled the JCC’s career panels well, he added that partnering with larger Yale groups such as UCS and AYA could increase the scope of alumni-student relations. Levin said he supports the proposed organization because it will help expand the network of alumni involved in undergraduate student affairs.
“The crux of it is capitalizing on the tremendous alumni base we have that is remarkably underutilized,” he said.
Egozi said the only University-organized interaction undergraduates currently have with alumni occurs through AYA delegates elected for each class. The aim of the new organization will be to create a “concrete group” students can approach easily, she said, adding that the five undergraduates on the planning committee are currently composing the organization’s mission statement and structure, which should be made public early next semester.
Emily Stoops GRD ’13, president of the Graduate and Professional Student Senate, said the senate was initially excited about the proposed organization’s potential to improve communication among the Graduate School, professional schools and Yale College.
“The undergrad and [graduate and professional] populations at Yale tend to be pretty segregated, which is unfortunate since G&P students could be important mentors for undergrads looking at how to apply for postgraduate studies,” Stoops said in a Tuesday email.
UCS is located at 55 Whitney Ave.