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Professional ConnectionsMany of us may remember the days of being an inquisitive college student needing access to various resources such as friends, parents, teachers, and advisors that we could turn to for questions, feedback, ideas, and advice. What if you could be that resource for someone else?

The College of Saint Rose Professional Connections program works to create a networking opportunity where current students and recent alumni can draw upon the knowledge, skills, and perspective of an experienced professional. This connection can provide guidance and feedback while facilitating the student’s growth and development. From a professional perspective it is an excellent opportunity to give back by helping the leaders of tomorrow. Professionals often say they learn as much as they teach and the satisfaction of helping guide young scholars onto the path toward success is one of life’s great rewards.

From a program perspective, it is an introduction. Once you are matched with a student, you will reach out and start a conversation. You may find that you can answer all of the student’s questions with one exchange or you may find that you would both prefer to continue the conversation and potentially build a lasting connection. The length and depth of the connection is left up to you and the student participant.

By participating in the program, we hope that you will:

  • Draw on real-world experience to give students advice about majors, careers, jobs/internships, industries, skill building, graduate or professional schools, etc.
  • Serve as a confidence booster and role model
  • Act as a sounding board for the students and provide practical feedback
  • Share ideas, communicate knowledge, identify useful resources, and help clarify educational and professional goals
  • At your discretion, invite students to your workplace to give them a first-hand look at “the real world”


FAQs

Contact connections@strose.edu or (518) 454-5105 for more information!

You will be expected to be available, be responsive, and follow through with set commitments. We ask that you act in a professional and respectful manner at all times. Once initial contact has been made, please contact us at connections@strose.edu.

Current Saint Rose students (Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors, & Graduate Students) and recent alumni are eligible to participate. Students apply for participation in the program after meeting with a Career Center representative and show interest in their network, learning more about a certain field of study, or to seek advice on career-related topics.

How will I be matched?
Based on your responses to the interest form, the Professional Connections team will try to make the best possible match between you and interested students. This may be based on a variety of things such as career field or educational background. Students will benefit from your experience whether their interests are directly related to your profession or not. For example, you may know someone else who you would feel comfortable connecting the student with, or the student’s questions may not even be related to a specific industry.

As a professional you can elect to receive 1-3 students. The students have a rolling registration process, so the flow of students may fluctuate throughout the year. You can also offer to accept additional networking contacts once your original connections have come to an end.

The program is not limited to any certain timeframe and one conversation via phone or in-person is all it takes to “complete” the program. You and the student may agree to continue a dialogue beyond the initial conversation.

Once given the contact information for your student, the expectation is that you will contact them within a week via phone or e-mail to schedule an initial meeting/conversation. After that initial contact it is up to you and the student to decide your preferred method of contact. Some may prefer in-person meetings, while others may rely on phone calls, e-mails, or LinkedIn.

It can be quite intimidating for a student or recent alum to engage in conversation with an experienced professional. Below you will find suggested talking points, if needed. Overall, ask thought-provoking questions to help your student understand and articulate their motivations, accomplishments, weaknesses, etc. Employ active listening as a way to develop questions to ask.
• What led you to choose your program/major/school; is it what you expected?
• What do you want to do after college?
• Have you thought about seeking an internship or other opportunities to gain experience?
• What are your biggest challenges/fears/concerns about college and what follows?
• What resources are you using to maintain your network? Great way to connect the conversation to LinkedIn.

The initial contact should be made by you, the professional. If contact is not achieved within a reasonable time please e-mail connections@strose.edu or call (518) 454-5105 to let us know.