A Year in Review for the NACE Liberal Arts Affinity Group

Year in Review
A laptop showing a virtual meeting.

TAGS: career development, member voices, personal devlopment,

What a year it has been for the NACE Liberal Arts Affinity Group! We all learned a lot from our expert employer and faculty guests as well as from each other. 

Employer Perspectives

We kicked off the year by hosting a webinar, called “Beyond the Career Fair: Strategies for Engaging with Employers Who Hire Liberal Arts Students,with an all-star employer panel that shed a light on how liberal arts student can connect with employers beyond the traditional career fair.

Panelists shared actionable ideas, such as hosting employer-led educational workshops, to help students better articulate their “why” by focusing on speaking in employer-friendly language to tell their stories. Our panelists also recommended that career advisors work with employers to facilitate peer-to-peer connections in smaller forums, pairing students with the organization’s employees and brand ambassadors at similar ages and life stages. For smaller institutions, which may not be included in the career fair schedules of larger companies, our experts suggested that career practitioners reach out with ideas of how employers can get in front of specific student groups.

While the panelists agreed that careers fairs are not going away, this session opened up alternatives and was especially helpful for smaller career offices that may not have the capacity to host large-scale employer events.

Faculty Collaborations

Shifting focus to our college members, particularly as it relates to the wisdom of faculty, later on in the year we explored innovative ways for career professionals to partner with their faculty colleagues.

Our webinar “Everyone Wins: Faculty Partnerships in Action” featured teams of presenters from Westminster University, Stony Brook University, and Connecticut College.

Westminster University highlighted its First Scholars program, a four-year application-based program for first-generation students from marginalized backgrounds. Stony Brook University detailed its comprehensive Accounting Recruitment Collaboration between the school’s career center and College of Business. Finally, Connecticut College introduced its unique Explore! Public Service initiative, which are career-informed learning conversations that integrate alumni across all branches of the federal government.

Member Spotlight

Finally, the Liberal Arts Affinity Group turned the spotlight on our own members to share best practices in experiential learning. Our star-studded group of contributors included career practitioners from Middlebury College, Rowan University, Ohio State, William & Mary, Villanova, Wartburg College, and Gustavus Adolphus College. The full list of presenters, topics, and program slides are available in our Affinity Group Resources on the NACE website.

In-Person Meetup at NACE24!

While Zoom meetings are great, we look forward to seeing many of our members in person in Phoenix this June. Co-Lead Valerie Mandel will host the meet-up on Monday, June 3 – check your conference program for details and location when you arrive. Not a member of the Liberal Arts Affinity Group yet? Join us to learn more about how you can become involved.

At this time, our Affinity Group leadership will also transition, as Janet Long completes her two-year term and Valerie will continue for another year with a new co-lead to be announced shortly.

With best wishes for a great conference and a relaxing summer,

Your Co-Leads,

Janet Long, Executive Director, Career Design & Development, Widener University

Valerie Mandel, Executive Director, Career & Life Planning, Rollins College

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