The series allows employers—all of them Ursinus alumni—to spend the morning or afternoon on campus offering their professional expertise and advice to students looking towards life after graduation.
“The program is open to all majors and all years. It’s an opportunity to really learn. It can really help students explore career paths and learn what’s out there,” said Olivia Correll, assistant director for employer engagement. “It’s very informal and a learning experience. It’s just like grabbing coffee with someone and asking for some advice.”
Each employer gets the chance to meet with up to six students individually to offer advice, answer questions, or support the student’s career aspirations.
Vince Discepola ’13, a member of the accelerator team at Bayer Consumer Health, was the first alumni participant in the series.
After his busy day of one-on-one meetings with current students, Discepola reflected on his experience.
“There was a really diverse group of questions and topics covered,” he said, adding, “I shared some advice across the board, a few students brought their resumes, some of it was about networking, the internship fair and interview tips. Other students asked about applications.”
“I think this is a great opportunity for not only students to connect with alumni, but the other way around, too,” Discepola said, adding that he felt like he learned a lot from this experience himself, encouraging other alumni to seek out opportunities in the program.
According to Sharon Hansen, director of career and post-graduate development, the employer-in-residence (EIR) program is part of an effort to identify and fortify the connections among the varied elements of the Ursinus experience that help students transition to successful and meaningful lives after graduation. Initial steps include strengthening relationships with employers as part of what Ursinus is calling the Nexus initiative.
Students can log onto their Handshake accounts and sign up to meet with the employers by searching their associated Handshake number.
This semester, there will be more opportunities for students to meet with alumni guests and participate in the EIR program, including:
Feb. 7: Janel Melnick ’13, senior human resources consultant for PPL.
Feb. 12: Ivy McDaniels ’08, communications director at Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy.
March 6: Kevin A. Zufelt ’11, lead data engineer at Comcast.
March 20: Janel Forsythe ’15, social media editor for Project on Government Oversight.
April 3: Shawn Witt ’01, co-president of Leftfield Pictures.
April 17: Meg Dresher ’02, associate director and human resources operations program lead at Merck; and Filippa Karcewski ’98, director of operations at Merck. —By Mary Lobo ’15