In a summer in which many experiential opportunities will be limited, faculty and career professionals at Georgetown have constructed a comprehensive set of opportunities to support students’ professional development. Last week, I wrote about one great resource for the Class of 2020, Hoya Gateway, and the many ways it provides critical support to students. This post highlights another range of initiatives.
The summer months are often a time for students’ applied learning. Experiences of service, research, internships, or short-term work in settings away across the world are often transformative. Students deepen connections between theory and practice, as well as widen their horizons by exploring potential careers, and broadening professional skills.
Trying to respond to this spectrum of needs, the Cawley Career Education Center has mounted several credit and non-credit experiences to advance undergraduates’ and graduating seniors’ career exploration and professional skills development. Multiple sections of two popular 1-credit courses, Personal Narrative and Professional Discernment, and What’s My Story? are being offered in Summer Sessions, complemented by modules that help students explore a whole range of “industries.”
To fill the void of lost internship opportunities, Cawley created the VIEW program, seeking to match students with “virtual immersions,” working on real workplace projects collected from Hoya alumni, faculty, parents, and friends. Partners ranging from the College’s Board of Advisors and Social Responsibility Network to Hoya Gateway and the Board of Regents have activated their networks to support this initiative.
Lauinger Library, the McDonough School of Business, and other partners have launched skill-based learning communities, called CoLabs, with practical and relevant content. These CoLabs are coached by campus staff and faculty, as well as alumni who work at some of the leading employers of Georgetown students. They include topics as diverse as “Creative Web Design” and “Digital Mapping” to “AI and Business Operations” and “Inclusive Leadership.”
This sort of entrepreneurial effort is happening in career and academic spaces across campus for graduate students as well. The Graduate Career Center has launched virtual resources to support job search strategies and boost interviewing skills, and is hard at work organizing virtual networking opportunities and career management workshops. The SFS Graduate Career Center will launch a summer series with alumni and industry partners focusing on career development and job search strategies in a COVID-19 reality.
In the McCourt School of Public Policy, faculty have assembled a catalogue of “Advance and Enhance” opportunities, offering students short courses, including topics ranging from “Intro to R” to “Economics of Large Scale Disasters” to a whole range of offerings in “Policy Making, Political and Leadership Skills.”
Finally, for all students launching their careers into this difficult period, there is a series of panels and seminar discussions with alumni called “Careers in a Time of Crisis,” including sessions on “Hoya Voices from 2008-2009,” “International Careers,” “Navigating the Gig Economy,” and “Entrepreneurship and Innovation.”
These efforts are strengthened by alumni engagement. Through Hoya Gateway conversations, panels discussing challenges and opportunities, and other ways of connecting, our Hoya community is a tremendous source of wisdom for students.
All of these resources are part of Georgetown’s response to the current moment. We hope this is the beginning of a robust set of offerings available to all students, equitably, to advance their development toward purposeful work and lives. As with other dimensions of this crisis, what began out of necessity may help shape whole new ways to serve our students.