Oglethorpe’s Career Take Out: More Than Just a Meal!

Oglethorpe students practiced their networking skills a few weeks ago by participating in Career Take Out—three community dinners planned by the Alumni Office and Career Services. About 20 students participated in the events, along with alumni and staff members. The program connects students who are focusing on their job search and preparation with Oglethorpe alumni in similar career fields.

Alumni in Atlanta graciously opened their homes to students for small dinner parties, bringing everyone together in a friendly environment for good food, conversation, career advice and camaraderie. This year’s event focused on three specific career/majors:  English Communications, Pre-Law and undecided majors.

Janice McNeal ’97, a community volunteer and philanthropist, hosted the English/Communications group, along with Ashish Thakur ’99, executive director and CFO of The Indus Entrepreneurs of Atlanta, Megan Van Doran ’09, social marketing specialist for the InterContinental Hotels Group, and Danielle Hitchchock ’12, a marketing coordinator for the Heeney Company.

Deborah Lange ’03 , director of admissions for the Lovett School, and her husband Rocky Lange, a Financial Advisor for BB&T, hosted the Undecided group, along with alums Trevor Sheffield ’09, manager of marketing and customer relations at Geo Certs SSL, and Whitney Hockensmith ’09, customer service representative at Enterprise Fleet Management.

Joe ’91 and Andrea Shelton ’91 hosted the Pre- Law group. Joe is a partner in the Atlanta office of Fisher and Phillips LLC, and Andrea is an attorney and as well as president and founder of Heart Bound Ministries.  Alex Johnson ’07, an attorney at Gillis and Creasy LLC, and Bobby Baker ’79, a partner at Freeman, Mathis and Gary, also joined the group.

La Tasha Bellamy, a senior majoring in Communication and Rhetoric Studies, felt participating was well worth it. “Attending gave us the opportunity to connect with one another and meet new and such resourceful and amazingly talented people within our degree/career interests.”

Felisha Ellison, a sophomore studying Communication also enjoyed the evening. “I participated in the Communications Networking dinner and found it to be extremely rewarding,” said Ellison. “I learned much valuable information, and met many new knowledgeable contacts. Thank you so much for organizing and helping to provide this special event for Oglethorpe students. It was a wonderful opportunity!”

Look out for the next Career Take Out, planned for the spring 2013 semester!

Amy Clemente, MS, NCC is the Career Counselor at Oglethorpe’s Center for Experiential Learning.

Dressing to Stand OUt

Savannah Boyd, personal stylist, advices students on appropriate attire.

The OU Career Center recently hosted a Dress for Success event for students in the OU Museum of Art.

“Career Services, with the help of the Student Government Association, created this event to give students a chance to jump start their professional wardrobe.  The goal of the event was to help students understand that professional attire is a key part of making a positive first impression to a potential employer” said Caroline Weimar, director of Career Counseling. “We emphasized that your clothing should enhance, not distract from, what you are trying to articulate in terms of your skills and talents.”

The event featured Savannah Boyd, a personal stylist and owner of Hearts of Style (www.heartsofstyle.com).  Savannah spoke to the students about professional attire and the difference between interview dress and business casual.  She shared some common mistakes that people make and emphasized the importance of having basics such as a dark suit and white or blue collared shirt in your wardrobe.  Savannah told OU students that you do not have to spend a lot of money to look polished and that it’s better to invest in a few key pieces that you can use again and again.

OU students Awet Woldegebriel and Ciarra Dantzler model professional attire

OU student models demonstrated the DOs and DON’Ts of professional dress.  The students included Awet Woldegebriel, Spenser Knauss, Sonya Myers, Joel Raffety, Price Hamilton, Ciarra Dantzler, and Nicole Kang.

For more than a month, Career Services collected donated gently-used professional items from OU faculty and staff.  Thanks to the generosity of our Oglethorpe community, students had a large selection of professional clothing, belts, jewelry, and ties.  They were given the opportunity to shop from the items to enhance their options for professional dress.

With the help of SGA, OU Career Services raffled off three gift cards to be used toward professional clothing items.  Savannah Boyd also raffled off a two-hour closet audit where she will spend time going through a student’s closet and helping them put together various pieces into professional and business casual outfits.

Hats off to Career Services and SGA for another successful event!  Find more information about OU Career Center and the services offered to OU students.

Alumni Return to Prep Petrels

Students compare resumes at a recent Career Services event.

Last week, I had the opportunity to return to campus along with Richard Bakare ’03, Mike Lyons ’05, Kim Williams Leung ’03 and Ashish Thakur ’99  to assist the Office of Career Services in conducting mock interviews for current students.  The event was a great success and highly rewarding for both students and alumni.  Students were able to practice their interviewing skills and receive direct feedback from our alumni.  

Current Petrels commented on their experience,  saying, “I learned how to play up my strengths and re-work my resume” and “it helped me to watch my uncertainty and be more confident.” Chelsea MacDonald ’11, one of the students who participated in the mock interviews, received a job offer from Soliant Healthcare only one day later. 

Several alumni commented about how impressive the students were in their interviews, and talked afterward about whom to contact about placing certain students. Caroline Weimar, Interim Director of Career Services, is planning to hold the event again in both the fall and the spring semesters.  So, alumni, consider this your first opportunity to sign-up to meet these amazing students.  Not only is it a great opportunity to give back to the university, but it might just supply you with the young talent your company or organization needs.