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.

Career Services Expands Resources, Opportunities

Do you know about all the career resources offered at Oglethorpe’s Career Center? The Center helps both students and alumni with career development and planning through self-evaluation, the exploration  and pursuit of career interests, and by offering opportunities like one-on-one appointments, job seminars, educational programs and recruitment events.  Now, Career Services has its sights set on expanding internships opportunities for current students.

Director of Career Services Caroline Weimar was recently joined by Robin Brandt, who assumed the brand new position of Director of Experiential Learning. Robin is focusing on developing and expanding opportunities for OU students to participate in internships, with the goal to significantly increase the overall number of students who benefit from the practical, hands-on experience that internships offer. She recently convened a steering committee of OU students who will help support and advise the Career Center in its ongoing efforts to increase OU students’ participating in internships.

“Internships can be a beneficial experience for students of any major,” said Brandt. “They help formulate career goals, gain valuable work experience and enhance marketable skills. Internships also help establish reference and networking contacts and can possibly open doors to full-time employment. Some positions even qualify for academic credit.”

When it comes to finding internship positions, Brandt advises students to do research on their own, along with using the resources available through the Career Center, such as Career Connect. Center staff offer professional advice on writing resumes and cover letters and holds mock practice interviews. OU students also are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to meet face-to-face with potential employers during on-campus Career Fairs.  The recent Nonprofit Career Fair brought more than 35 potential nonprofit employers to campus. View photos from the event here.  Throughout the year, students also can look forward to guest speakers and panel discussion series with professionals from various fields, as well as another career fair scheduled for spring 2012.

For more information about Career Services or internship opportunities visit the Career Center office in Emerson Student Center or email careerservices@oglethorpe.edu.

Photos: (top) Robin Brandt meets with an OU student in the Career Center; (middle) Caroline Weimar consults on career planning; (bottom) Snapshots from the recent Nonprofit Career Fair.

OU’s “Career Takeout” Delivers

Oglethorpe students listen intently.

With the OU campus already abuzz with Parents Weekend 2010, the stage was set for the inaugural Career Takeout Lunch and Learn, an alumni panel discussion about careers in English and Communications and Rhetoric Studies. Over 70 alumni, students, faculty and staff attended, a vivid conversation quickly began.

Oglethorpe students displayed their bright, inquisitive minds with relevant questions related to social media, internships, career options and the job application process. The experience of the alumni panelists was equally impressive. Top companies and organizations were represented, including Turner Broadcasting, Porter Novelli, Atlanta magazine, Neighbor Newspapers, Carter Center, and Oxford at UGA. Oglethorpe students heard from a State Representative candidate, a sports broadcaster, a creative services and public relations director, an executive in digital and social media, a managing editor and a producer–just to name a few.

OU alums offer insight into the many career options for English and Communications and Rhetoric Studies majors

Some of the advice doled out? Dress appropriately, be flexible and versatile for job opportunities outside of Atlanta, appreciate small company experience as just as vital as with a large company, be adaptable in a volatile economy and be careful what you make public on Facebook!

As the event concluded, networking was at its peak. Students rushed to the alumni panelists and business cards were handed out like free food samples to eager students–as well as swapped among the alums.