Students searching for summer internships have a new platform they can use: the Kenyon Career Network (KCN). Finding internships is one of the many features of KCN, which aims to connect students with alumni and parents.
The Career Development Office (CDO) launched KCN earlier this academic year, introducing it first to alumni in October and to the student body in the first week of January. Currently, there are over 1,800 members on the system, of which 435 are Kenyon students.
Dean for Career Development Holly McCormack had the idea to create the platform last fall. Through her conversations with alumni, she heard that they wanted to find an easier way to connect with students, prompting the CDO to start talking about different options to make that happen.
Assistant Director for Career Development Jazz Glastra ’11, who joined the CDO staff in August, began spearheading the project at the beginning of this academic year.
“It’s a great way to get some ideas about where you want to go after Kenyon,” Glastra said. “I think there’s often a misconception that networking is for people who know exactly what they want to do… I don’t think that should be the case; it’s a really useful thing for students who don’t know what they want to do, to be able to explore different career options.”
In addition to posting internships, alumni on KCN can also provide students with career advice, job shadow opportunities, homestay offers, resume reviews and mock interviews. Students can also join “communities,” or discussion board groups, based on industry, location or any other area of common interest. While Symplicity, a job-search website, also lists internships, most of them are from recruiting efforts of national companies, whereas the opportunities on KCN are more specific to Kenyon.
Associate Vice President for Alumni and Parent Engagement Scott Baker ’94 was also involved in the development of KCN, as he helped the CDO connect with the alumni by sharing a database of record for alumni contact information. Baker noted that he is excited to see students start using the website.
“I just can’t overstate enough how much alumni are willing to help,” he said. “I’m really excited about the potential of the system. I think that creating another vehicle where students can engage in slightly more casual conversations about career exploration is a good thing — where it’s not like you’re going from nothing to a phone Skype interview, where you can really feel free to explore different areas.”
On Feb. 17 at 4 p.m., there will be a workshop in Tomsich Hall 103 titled “Exploring Career Options and Building Your Network,” where the CDO will also talk about KCN and how students can benefit from it. Glastra noted that she has heard positive feedback from both alumni and students so far, and encourages others to express their thoughts about the new platform.
“I want to hear stories of how people are using it. I’m just one user … but I’m not the actual intended end user — it’s really you guys,” she said. “I want to hear stories of how people have made it work for them or if there’s anything that they would like to see tweaked … let us know.”