Brock alumni to receive career advice, share wisdom with students through new programs

NOTE: This is one in a series of stories highlighting projects supported by Brock’s Academic Initiatives Fund (AIF), which was established by the University in spring 2021. AIF projects will address key priorities outlined in Brock’s Institutional Strategic Plan and position the University to face the challenges of recovery from the pandemic. To read other stories in the AIF series, click here.

Through two new programs expected to launch next fall, Brock alumni will be able to not only give back to current students, but also access new services to strengthen their own careers at any stage.

Co-op, Career and Experiential Education (CCEE) and the Office of Alumni Relations have collaborated to hire a career coach to assist alumni with their career development through specific fee-for-service offerings while also establishing ‘career pod’ cohorts that connect current Brock students with alumni to provide mentorship.

The project is among 18 that have received one-year seed funding through Brock’s Academic Initiatives Fund (AIF) to address key priorities outlined in the University’s Institutional Strategic Plan and aid with Brock’s pandemic recovery.

Stephanie Harper, Brock’s Associate Director of Career Education, said the initiative will allow alumni to engage with the University in new ways.

“We have a comprehensive suite of services and resources for current students and new alumni to support their entry into the workforce, and we recognize the opportunity to provide similar supports to a more seasoned alumni audience who have already been working for some time,” she said. “Thanks to this funding, we can now offer meaningful career guidance and resources at any stage of a graduate’s career journey while also inviting them to further their connection and engagement with Brock by sharing their wisdom with current students.”

With efforts to hire a career coach getting underway soon, the program will offer a valuable opportunity for alumni to receive customized feedback and guidance on career transitions, career advancement and job searches from the University, said Cara Krezek, Brock’s Director of CCEE.

“In the community, career coaches charge between $75 to $150 per hour, but with the expertise and the ‘power’ of Brock behind this service, we would be able to offer a high-level service at an accessible rate for our alumni,” she said.

Krezek said the cohort portion of the program will create an avenue for alumni to give back to the University, which many grads have indicated is important to them.

“We need more resources to support the employment career paths of students,” she said. “The experience and direction from alumni in their field can offer current students real-world insights and, at the same time, allow for alumni to give back in a meaningful way.”

Brock’s Director of Alumni Relations Terry Cockerline said the opportunities available through the new programs will further strengthen the connection Brock grads feel to their alma mater.

“Being part of the Brock alumni family comes with a lifetime of support and community,” he said. “We are happy to be able to provide additional support to our more than 110,000 alumni as they navigate their career journeys. Plus, we look forward to welcoming them back as they support and bond with current students.”

For more information about programs available through Career Education, visit the CCEE website.

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