Life is busy, especially if you’re also juggling school. So how does Doane’s School of Graduate and Professional Studies – a college that prides itself on being designed around students’ needs – deliver on that promise? With a little twist.
That twist was a new event: Speed Mentoring for Your Career. Modeled after speed dating, speed mentoring is a relatively new concept that focuses on quick-hit information and time-efficient networking. Susan Rocker, Director of Career Development for the School of Graduate and Professional Studies, heard about the “speed” concept being applied in other realms.
“We’ve got a number of different majors and graduate programs, so speed mentoring was an ideal approach to give students great advice for any interest,” said Rocker.
The attendees were Doane students and alumni with different backgrounds and interests. A new mom working toward her goal of CPA license. An upcoming graduate changing careers and moving to Colorado. A recent graduate looking for help with all the interview basics. A happily employed alumnus looking to stay connected and better himself.
For 36 minutes on a Saturday morning, the two groups of participants went round-robin, changing mentors and meeting professionals asking questions about career opportunities, educational plans, résumé writing, and interview skills.
The mentors were successful managers and human resource professionals:
Natalie Campbell ’02, Human Resource Officer, Nebraska Health and Human Services
Buffy Cranford, Employment Services Manager, Nebraska Department of Labor
Michael Harper, Manager, Verizon Wireless
Megan Hensley ’07L, Recruiter, Kelly Services
Shannon Rowen ’04L, ’07L, Assistant Professor of Practice, University of Nebraska
Laura Sears ’02L, Director of Human Resources, Doane College
Student Beth Seegebarth liked the opportunity to meet with six different mentors during the event. “You could get a different perspective on how to answer questions or approach things,” said Seegebarth, who is studying organizational communication.
Buffy Cranford, Employment Services Manager for the Department of Labor, volunteered her time for the event. “The Nebraska Department of Labor (NDOL) recognizes the importance of developing partnerships with colleges throughout the State in the quest to offer professional job placement services,” said Cranford. “NDOL supports Nebraska’s free online labor exchange portal, NEworks (neworks.nebraska.gov).” The site provides a free, single source for job openings, creating résumés and cover letters, taking online assessments and much more.
The Speed Mentoring event was such a success that more may be on the horizon. “This was a great way for our students and alumni to learn more about developing their career from mentors with important perspectives on what businesses are looking for in candidates," said Rocker.