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Common Good Network Enriches Career Options

By Contributing Writer on October 12, 2017

Joining with alumni affairs, career services and advancement, the Common Good Professional Network continues to grow and offer many networking and development opportunities for students and alumni. Two key initiatives saw great success again this year.

Be the Change Weekend
We welcomed eight alumni back to campus for our second annual Be the Change: Careers for the Common Good Symposium. The symposium focuses on building alumni-student relationships and advancing careers in the common good sector, which includes nonprofits, education, government, and other enterprises for social good.

The weekend kicked off with more than 30 students learning how to use Idealist.org as a tool to navigate the path to an internship or job in the common good sector. This was followed by a reception and alumni panel highlighting career paths in the sector. Alumni, including Cindy Doughtery ’82, Michael Dougherty ’82, Carl Boykin ’83, Chrissy Hart ’05, Garrett Bewkes ’10, Brenda Boyle ’11, Molly Emmett ’12, and Griffin O’Shea ’13, shared their professional and personal experiences working within the common good sector and answered student questions about how their Colgate education helped to prepare them for the successes and challenges of the work.

“They highlighted the fact that all organizations, whether private or public sector, need similar skill sets. No matter what your skill focus becomes, those skills can be applied to the common good,” said co-organizer Jillian Arnault ’10, assistant director of professional networks.

Saturday morning, students were split up into smaller breakout groups and asked alumni about how their current studies and activities at Colgate could be used to pursue a career in the future, and about how they could prepare for their careers.

New York City Nonprofit Student Immersion Trip
Last November, 14 students visited four non-profit organizations with Colgate ties: Pencils of Promise,  Fiver Children’s Foundation, United Nations Women, and Cities of Service.

Students had the opportunity to gain insight into four common good career paths:

  • Pencils of Promise is a global education organization that builds schools and provides quality educational programming to increase literacy rates in Ghana, Guatemala, Laos, and Nicaragua. Michael Dougherty ’82, CEO, and Michael Apostolides ’05, board of directors member, provided insight into the mission and programs of Pencils of Promise as well as advice for students seeking to follow this career path.
  • The Fiver Children’s Foundation is a comprehensive youth development organization that makes a 10-year commitment to children from underserved communities throughout New York City and central New York. Through character-building summer and year-round programs, Fiver empowers children to make ethical and healthy decisions, to become engaged citizens, and to succeed in school, careers, and life. Tom Tucker ’67 is the founder of Fiver.
  • UN Women supports inter-governmental bodies in their formulation of policies and global standards; helps Member States implement these standards through technical and financial support and effective partnerships with civil society; and leads the UN system’s work on gender equality, including regular monitoring of systemwide progress. Students met with Chrissy Hart ’05, resource mobilization and advocacy specialist and former COVE intern.
  • Cities of Service is a national nonprofit organization that supports mayors and city executives in their efforts to solve problems together. The organization works with cities to build city-led, citizen-powered initiatives that target specific needs, achieve long-term and measurable outcomes, improve the quality of life for residents, and build stronger cities. Students met with Rachel Greenberg 10, program manager.

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