Committee Chair Barry Caldwell ’82 welcomed councilors to the first meeting of the newly formed Professional Development Committee and summarized the charge to the committee in the following way: How do we as alumni councilors help to enhance alumni-to-student connections and alumni-to-alumni connections that support career and professional growth?  Barry also expressed his strong interest in making sure that the Committee functions as a "working committee." During member introductions, committee members expressed interest in the following topics: supporting alumni through career transitions, connecting alumni and students with one another, providing support for "under-represented" professional choices, and enhancing the connection created by the "Dartmouth Network." 

Roger Woolsey from the Center for Professional Development (CPD) and Dan Parish ’89 from the Office of Alumni Relations shared information on the current set of career and professional development programs supported through the CPD and the Dartmouth for Life program. Roger and Dan specifically highlighted student outcomes, alumni-student programs launched in the last year, and new programs aimed at young alumni.

Jean Romeo presented the results of the Moosilauke Forum Professional Development Survey that was developed by the Alumni Liaison Committee in collaboration with the CPD and the Dartmouth for Life program.  Survey results suggest that alumni want to engage professionally with other alumni and alumni are very interested in interacting with students for career-related purposes. Alumni who have graduated since 2000 are generally more interested in professional development and career programming than other alumni. While there is interest in the use of online career resources among alumni, awareness and usage of the current set of tools is low across all segments represented in the survey.

Committee members discussed areas of focus for working groups based on the information provided by Roger Woolsey and Dan Parish and on the results of the Moosilauke Forum survey. Several major themes for projects emerged as a result of the conversation: 

  • Diversifying employment opportunities for students and young alumni.
  • Enhancing resources and tools available to alumni, students and employers.
  • Clarifying the promise of the Dartmouth brand for employers.
  • Enhancing alumni-to-alumni connections and support.

The meeting closed with plans to schedule a follow-up conference call to further define the working groups and projects. (Dan Zenkel '80 was confirmed as vice chair on Saturday morning).