The goal of the AIR program is for small groups of students to spend time connecting with an alumna/us who returns to the campus for the day. Discussion topics cover a wide variety of areas including graduate programs, the job hunt, work-life balance, and the definition of success.
The day provides different formats for interactions:
- a coffee chat, lunch
- 1:1 sessions
- a leadership discussion
Alumnae/i are encouraged to be open, honest, and accessible, rather than creating formal presentations. Students are encouraged to come prepared with a willingness to have a conversation about their aspirations and concerns about their futures.
The program was piloted spring of 2014 with visits from Rebecca Katz ’96 from Vanguard, Alexis Baird ’05 from LinkedIn, and Aneesah Abkar-Uqdah ’07 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Students attending sessions have shared the following feedback about the program:
I learned about the experience of going from liberal arts undergrad to business executive and that having a "can do anything" spirit can take you a long way. You have to believe you can do it before others will get on board.
You need to know your own strengths before you go around, resume in hand. You need to explicitly make clear what you bring to the table and why its valuable. By leaving that work up to the interviewer/employer, you do yourself a disservice in the job market.
The alumna was a very engaging speaker and I enjoyed her honesty and open humor. I have learned a lot about why she enjoys her work and how her positivity has helped her to find everyday joyful and motivating, which I think really is the best piece of advice that needs to pass to every single student. I emailed her afterward to thank her and asked her about career search and networking building, I was extremely touched by how much she was willing to help and those suggestions that she gave were very viable and sincere.