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Common Good Network enriches career options

By Contributing Writer on September 8, 2018

Joining with Alumni Affairs, Career Services and Institutional 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 third annual Be the Change: Careers for the Common Good Symposium. The symposium focused on building alumni-student relationships and advancing careers in the common good sector, which includes nonprofits, education, government, and other enterprises for social good. Students learned a great deal from and were inspired by the alumni in attendance, who included:

  • Chrissy Hart ’05, policy specialist at UN Women
  • Luis Matos ’78, director for the Center Against Domestic Violence
  • Hayley Smith ’08, previously advocacy and policy council attorney at ACLU
  • Nicol Turner-Lee ’00, fellow at Brookings Institution
  • Nicole Murley ’01, trial attorney, Office of Immigration Litigation, District Court Section at U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division
  • Steve Bosak ’90, sustainability consultant at Tenworth Advisors
  • Robert Dewey ’83, vice President for governmental relations at Defenders of Wildlife
  • Amanda Griffiths ’13, events and office coordinator for a nonprofit called Climate Action Business Association

The weekend kicked off with an invite only dinner on Saturday night where 25 student leaders and the alumni had a chance to have small scale conversations.On Sunday morning, more than 60 students filled Merrill House to hear Dr. Nicol Turner-Lee ’00, fellow at the Brookings Institution, speak about her work on public policy designed to enable equitable access to technology across the United States and harnessing its power to create change in communities across the world. Following the keynote, more than 60 students participated in two alumni panels, one focused on human rights careers and one focused on environmental sustainability career paths. Overall, students came away inspired to live an intentional life of impact no matter what path that takes.

New York City nonprofit student immersion trip
Last November, 15 students visited four nonprofit organizations with Colgate ties; CCS Fundraising, NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Robin Hood Foundation, and Uncommon Schools.

The opportunity to meet with alumni in varied positions across organizations doing impactful work helped to clarify what paths exist and how to navigate a common good career. Students gained insight into fundraising, grant making, program development, public housing and youth development and education programs. Each alumnus was eager to tell their story and offer contacts and mentorship to students who took their break week to think about a nonprofit career.

At the end of the day meeting with inspiring alumni, students were joined by more than 30 other alumni working in the Common Good sector across the city at a reception at the Cornell Club, where they had the opportunity to network and ask questions about their own career aspirations from those that have navigated the field. Overall, students found that real and exciting possibilities exist to put their Colgate education to work building a more just world.

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