In an effort to boost its career service offerings, the School of Management is partnering with a third-party organization to provide job counseling to alumni.
The majority of career services previously offered were designed for current students or created on an ad hoc basis when an alum returned to the school for career advice, said Julien Mininberg ’86 SOM ’90, the president of the SOM alumni association. The SOM career development office will now work with the Ayers Group, an organization that offers career transition services, to help alumni who are moving between jobs, career development head Julia Zupko said.
The new service, which SOM rolled out last spring and announced this summer, came after the SOM alumni association determined that SOM was failing to assist alumni with career matters as well as its competitors, Mininberg said.
Zupko said counseling sessions with the Ayers Group can be scheduled after an in-house consultation with SOM’s career department. She said she expects the primary users of the new service to be older alumni who have been in the workforce for 10 to 15 years, adding that the Group has a global presence and thus can effectively assist alumni working and searching for new careers abroad.
The new service follows several other recent additions the range of career service offerings for alumni, Zupko said, including the creation of an SOM LinkedIn community and a more active Web portal, Mininberg said the school is “catching up to its peers in a very impressive way” with the new partnership with the Ayers Group.
Zupko, as well as career services staff interviewed at other business schools, said economic trends nationwide have increased the demand for career services among alumni in recent years.
“I’ve been in career development now for over 10 years, and when you start to look at what’s changed over the last 10 years, it’s the economy, and people don’t stay in jobs for as long as they used to,” Zupko said. “You have more people needing resources and looking to their schools for help.”
Ron Peracchio, the career development head at MIT Sloan School of Management, said improvements in the national economy since the 2008 financial downturn may be responsible for an increase in older business school alumni seeking career services.
“Now that the market is starting to get better, we’re seeing a lot of alums come back who have a job and are thinking, ‘Oh, it’s time for me to start pursuing something else,’” Peracchio said.
Pat Demasters, the head of career development at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, said her office has probably seen slightly more alumni returning to the school for career help this past year than in each of the past four, adding that she attributes the rise to the recovering economy.
Mininberg said the counseling services provided by Ayers will be particularly appealing for SOM alumni because of the school’s reputation for bringing together students from multiple sectors rather than just the private sector.
“This is not like a Wharton, where everyone goes to Wall Street,” Mininberg said. “This is a world where people come from the private sector, the government sector, from not-for-profit organizations.”
According to statistics supplied by the school, 90 percent of SOM alumni from the class of 2011 took jobs in the private sector, 9 percent in the nonprofit sector and 1 percent in the public sector.