The University will begin recruiting parents to take more proactive roles in career fairs and networking events this year as part of an effort to expand job opportunities for students.
As part of a three-year overhaul to improve the job-search experience for students, the Parents’ Association and Career Center will team up this Colonial Inauguration to push successful parents to connect with students looking to enter their field at career fairs and networking events – roles traditionally filled by alumni, Robert Snyder, executive director of University initiatives, said.
As the University hit a landmark 250,000 living alumni last May, he said GW will continue to draw on this expanding pool of graduates for networking opportunities.
“This is a way for parents to get involved in a very positive way,” Rodney Johnson, executive director of the Office of Parent Services, said. “It’s not about tracking parents; it’s about helping them to help their students."
Parents’ Association Advisory Council President Carmine Gibaldi said the effort demonstrates a further commitment to finding students meaningful career experiences.
On the first day of CI, parents will hear about how to get involved and be able to sign up for the Parents’ Association listserv.
The Career Center plans to group parents and alumni into six broad industry groups, designed to complement academic majors and segment parents by their student’s class.
Working with Snyder to oversee the revamp of the Career Center, Senior Associate Provost and Dean of Student Affairs Peter Konwerski has underscored the need for the University to synchronize career advising between schools and provide more specialized career planning for undergraduates.
“We are thinking about the ways we will connect with parents in the future,” Konwerski said.
GW started a search for an assistant provost for University career services in June. The new administrator's pay is included in the $568,000 funding increase received from the Board of Trustees in May to develop professional partnerships and specialize undergraduate career advising.
Snyder, who has helped steer the Career Services Task Force since 2010, said research found greater emphasis on parent involvement in career services at schools similar to GW.
The 25-member career services task force, founded in fall 2010 at the request of University President Steven Knapp, helped create the new career services model that will roll out in the next three years.