October 22-24, 2015

On Thursday afternoon, the Professional Development Committee gathered at the Center for Professional Development (CPD) with representatives from the Athletics Committee and the Alumni Service Committee. Roger Woolsey, director of the CPD, shared data from the Class of 2015’s Cap and Gown Survey, which is administered at the time of graduation.

86 percent of graduating seniors responded to the survey, with 85 percent of respondents indicating that they had confirmed plans for employment, graduate school or a fellowship after graduation. 

89 percent of students had held at least one internship or research position during their undergraduate careers. 

The biggest area of concern for the CPD and the committee members came in outcome data broken down demographically, showing a gap in the results for under-represented populations, first-generation students and students with high financial need. The Committee will look to partner with the CPD and the Affiliated Groups over the next year to address these concerns. 

Roger also discussed the significant progress that has been made by the CPD in engaging more students over the past year. Student contact with the CPD has increased by 67 percent over the past year, and the new Professional Development Accelerator program is now in its second year with over 850 students in the Class of 2019 enrolled (300 of whom have already completed their first milestone one month into the program). 

Roger updated the Committee on the implementation of Dartmouth Circles, a new interactive online platform available for employers who do not recruit heavily on campus that can be used for talent identification and recruitment of Dartmouth students. 20 employers are now using Dartmouth Circles, and promotion to the student body begins next week. 

Thursday’s meeting concluded with the Athletics, Service and Professional Development Committees sharing ideas about how to best connect alumni and students to enhance career opportunities. The Dartmouth Circles platform may provide some opportunities for our committees to connect students and alumni with shared interests. 

On Friday,the committee heard a quick update from Gail Gentes ’77a and Dan Parish ’89 on career initiatives coming out of the Dartmouth for Life program: 

Functionality and content updates are being made to the online Dartmouth Career Network, and promotion of the DCN will launch this winter.

  • The Dartmouth Peak Performance program will also be using a version of the online career network for their career advising program. 
  • The December Break Opportunities program was launched a bit earlier this year, and currently over 170 job shadows and projects hosted by alumni and parents are available to students.
  • The CPD and the Dartmouth for Life team continue to host “Off the Green” career immersion programs, with a biotech gathering to be held in Boston in early December. 
  • A career webinar series will be started up again this winter and promoted in conjunction with the career network. 

Most of Friday’s meeting was devoted to updates and reports from our four working groups. The highlights of our activities over the past year include: 

  • A successful resume review project pilot in September that saw 25 alumni volunteers review resumes for 37 students. The committee learned a lot from this first attempt and will apply the lessons learned to another resume review round in the spring. 
  • The committee has held three alumni-student career events over the past year – one at each alumni council meeting. Again, we have learned from these events and look forward to creating event better opportunities for alumni-student interaction over the next year at alumni council and during other times of the year. 

The committee discussed a number of initiatives for each working group for the coming year and is looking forward to a very productive time between now and our May meeting.