A little career advice and tips on getting one’s foot in the door can go a long way.
That’s the basis of Tulane’s Office of Career Wave Programs, led by Byron Kantrow Slosar, director. (Career Wave is a function of Tulane Advancement’s Office of Constituency Programs.)
“We try to creatively engage our alumni and parent community not just around: ‘Can you hire our students?’ We build all of our programming so that a piece of everything can provide meaningful engagement for a second-semester sophomore or a first-semester senior,” said Slosar.
“We try to creatively engage our alumni and parent community not just around: ‘Can you hire our students?’”
Byron Kantrow Slosar, director of Career Wave
In partnership with career outreach across campus, including the Tulane Career Center, the Office of Alumni Relations and others, alumni and parents are able to share their experiences about what it takes to forge a successful career and engage with students in different Career Wave programs.
This involvement may be as brief as a 15-minute conversation or it may require more commitment through offering a part-time remote internship.
This spring when all in-person meetings were cancelled, the Career Wave team retooled the Tulane Takeover program into a virtual event.
In past years students had met with alumni and parents at conference venues in three cities during fall and spring breaks. But this year, in late May, over three days, from 18 cities, 1,200 unique virtual meetings took place between students and professionals through Tulane Takeover Virtually Everywhere.
“It was a cool moment for us,” Slosar said. “To be honest, now that we did it, the virtual format made it equitable for everyone, because it didn’t require someone to fly to L.A. to meet somebody.”
Julia Guy, who graduated in May from the School of Liberal Arts with a double major in political economy and environmental studies, said that initially she was skeptical about the virtual platform. But, “This has been an amazing chance to meet with professionals across the country.”
William K. Smith, an associate at Goldman Sachs who participated in the virtual event, said that he was impressed with how seamless the process was and how well-prepared the students were. “I am proud of how Tulane has adapted its career services to these truly extenuating circumstances.”
Zachary St. Martin, vice president of Legal, Digital and TV Distribution at Sony Pictures Entertainment, said that he had many positive conversations and that he hopes to be a continuing resource. “It feels good to help in these trying times,” he said.
Another opportunity coming up this summer to facilitate meaningful career connections between professionals and Tulane students is Virtual Career Networking. “We have over 125 alums and parents who have raised their hand and have signed up to meet one-on-one with students throughout the summer,” said Slosar.
There’s also the Tulane Remote Internship Program (T.R.I.P.), for companies that have the capacity to remotely put students to work for eight to 10 hours a week. T.R.I.P.’s second summer session is from July 6 – Aug. 7 and is still accepting applications for employer partners.
T.R.I.P. was already built as a virtual program before the coronavirus crisis so it’s been easy to continue it, said Slosar. And it’s been a success.
Employers like Emily Shearburn of Hawkins International PR praise their interns. “Ian Joselow was a fantastic intern throughout the semester,” said Shearburn. “He was consistently proactive and delivered great work products. His semester-long presentation was well-thought-out, and he provided great insight on how our agency can better our social media presence and help tell a more cohesive story.”
Slosar appreciates the professionals who are willing to help. “What an amazing impact our alums and parents have been able to provide our students, given the current landscape,” he said.
If you are a Tulane alum or parent who’s willing to talk about starting out in your industry and navigating a career path, Tulane Career Wave would love to hear from you.