First Career Accelerator ‘a thundering success’
With the spring semester delayed, Beloit created a robust two-week program of workshops, panels, and networking that engaged students in planning for their futures. This wildly successful event could not have happened without alumni participation.
As Covid cases surged late last fall, Beloit responded by delaying the spring 2021 semester to Feb. 15. That created a longer-than-usual semester gap, which the college seized to present The Career Accelerator, a new program to help students explore their post-Beloit lives.
From Jan. 25 to Feb. 5, students could engage in 74 workshops that featured alumni and community partners and offered intensive faculty advising.
Remote sessions covered career planning essentials, such as how to identify and apply for jobs and internships, nail an interview, apply to graduate school, build a network, and set up a LinkedIn presence. Alumni and business professionals hosted or participated in 26 workshops, offering resume reviews, practice interviews, advice, and inspiration. More than 100 alumni took part in the Accelerator.
The inaugural program attracted 384 students who attended an average of four workshops, prompting faculty leader and Professor of Philosophy Matt Tedesco to call the event “a thundering success.”
Director of the college’s Career and Community Engagement Center Jessica Fox-Wilson’98 says, “I’m proud of the way that the Beloit College community, including faculty, staff, and alumni, came together to support the career development of our students. We received a ton of positive feedback from students, because they felt that they learned something valuable that will help them with the next steps in their career.”
Two members of the alumni community presented opening and closing keynote addresses.
DeVon Wilson’90, assistant dean of the College of Letters and Sciences and founding director of the Center for Academic Excellence at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, kicked off the program. An educator with 30 years of experience working with multicultural, underrepresented students, he presented “Building Equity and Community in the Workplace: Your Journey Begins Today!”
Dr. Connie Price’91, chief medical officer at Denver Health and a professor of medicine at the University of Colorado, presented the closing keynote. Price, who has consulted with public health officials around the world on controlling infectious diseases–including Covid-19–discussed how what she learned at Beloit provided the foundation for her life’s work.
Given the success of this year’s program, the college is considering adding the Career Accelerator to future winter breaks.