Meeting the career development needs of students and alumni at Randolph College
Christine Harriger, director of Randolph College’s Career Development Center, knows that today’s professionals need to be able to reinvent themselves to remain competitive. It’s an insight shared with current students. It’s also a reality that Randolph College helps alumni understand and manage.
To best serve these two populations, a “bridge position” shared by Career Development and the Office of Alumnae and Alumni was created. After hiring the right person for the job, they needed a product they could use to meet the needs of both students and alumni. With support from the school’s senior leadership, Christine brought together a committee of departmental stakeholders from Career Development, Alumni Services, and Institutional Advancement to plan next steps.
Career Development was already using RNL Career Services Powered by Purple Briefcase. Christine wanted to add an additional platform that would be unique to alumni needs. After demoing several, the committee decided to engage Graduway. The school brought RNL and Graduway leadership together to see what could be developed. “The collaboration between the two companies was great,” Christine noted.
Christine wanted to keep existing employer connections developed via the Purple Briefcase platform, and they were able to do so. An RSS feed of jobs was generated from the platform and now “runs through the heart of the Graduway” alumni platform. This new platform, RandolphConnect, was successfully launched.
Results: 1,000 alumni joined in 10 weeks
After RandolphConnect was introduced, around 1,000 alumni joined in 10 weeks. Sign-ups included those who were not previously connected to the school. Involving more alumni in student recruitment and student success is another byproduct of the initiative. Alumni are delighted to share their stories and experience. Current students have benefited immensely with the increased engagement. The Admissions office, not one of the original campus stakeholders, has looked to the platform to learn how it might be of use to their office, too.
Christine recommends that career services professionals seek out tools that are easy and intuitive to use. If they do not exist, look for vendors with flexibility. “Students [entering the professional workforce] have to be creative and innovative,” she adds. “So do career services!”