Edinboro alumni lend a supportive hand to new graduates
EDINBORO, Pa. – The U.S. unemployment rate has skyrocketed to unprecedented highs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the class of 2020 faces one of the toughest job markets in recent history. Edinboro University staff and alumni are helping students start their careers and navigate a new, and increasingly virtual, job market.
Edinboro recently rolled out the “Ready to Work” and “Ready to Help” campaigns, a partnership between the Career Development and Alumni Engagement offices. The goal is to connect recent Edinboro graduates with successful alumni and other professionals who can provide professional advice, networking, resume reviews and more.
The Ready to Work/Ready to Help campaign features new graduates and alumni images and information on social media, primarily LinkedIn. The campaign works by providing new graduates with an expanded social network and showcasing alumni who are giving back to their alma mater by assisting new graduates during a difficult time.
The campaign was launched as a partnership between the Center for Career Development and Experiential Learning and the Office of Alumni Engagement.
“We are committed to facilitating success for our students and graduates and providing extensive career development support is part of that commitment,” said Monica Clem, executive director of the career development center. “As all of us adapt and transition to this ‘new normal,’ we believe that support from the Fighting Scots network of dedicated alumni is one way to help our new graduates know that they are not alone in navigating a different job market than the one they may have been expecting.”
Edinboro has already featured a number of recent graduates on the official university LinkedIn page. One is senior resident director of Monroe Community College, Joshua Bishop, a 2017 and 2019 graduate who expressed how important helping fellow alumni can be.
“When I got connected with one such graduate, we had a really great conversation about our experiences and how similar our career trajectories were. They seemed to really appreciate the connection and advice during such a tumultuous time,” Bishop said. “I am really glad that Edinboro has decided on a campaign like this. Even if Edinboro only taught me one thing, it is that the Fighting Scots are stronger together.”
Amanda Brown Sissem, Edinboro’s director of alumni engagement, hopes that the campaign will not only help recent graduates but also show what a resource Edinboro’s alumni can be.
“This initiative is a great way to flex the muscle of Edinboro University’s vast alumni network of 63,000 strong,” Sissem said. “This campaign gives them an easy way to connect and help their fellow Fighting Scots through one of the most important transitions in life – from the classroom to employment.”
Additionally, Clem and Sissem are committed to the ongoing cooperation and partnership between alumni engagement and career services.
“Our hope is that this initiative not only opens doors for the Class of 2020 but that it strengthens the networks of the Edinboro alumni who participate and solidifies the importance of the partnership between alumni engagement and career services,” Sissem said. “By connecting students, the alumni network and employers, we reinforce the University’s commitment to continual growth for our graduates and the region.”
So far, the campaign has started seeing results. Recent graduate Jacob Schwartzmiller said he’s already had people reach out to him after viewing his post for the campaign.
“I have been contacted with advice in my interested fields, which I greatly appreciated,” Schwartzmiller said. “I am grateful for this initiative and your departments for continuing to work hard to advocate for students in higher education.”
While the class of 2020 may be facing a difficult job market, Edinboro University and its alumni network will continue to strive to make the transition into the working world a smooth one.