Arts & Sciences




Students depend on us to provide career advising that will help them uncover the most direct path to a fulfilling career. As advisors we must provide them with guidance and opportunities to explore their interests, discover their purpose,  and develop the skills, experience, and materials required to succeed in their job searches and careers.

This page serves as an career advising information hub for advisors in College of Arts & Sciences Advising. It details our team's overarching career philosophies, process, and procedures. It also serves as a comprehensive repository of career resources for advisors to provide to students to support their career development.


Whether a student is exploring careers or majors, connecting them with alumni provides them valuable opportunities to gain career advice, networking experience, and industry knowledge. The insight they receive can help set them on a more direct path to the work they will find most fulfilling.

In our department, alumni programming is led by the Associate Director of Alumni Relations and developed and delivered to our students by the entire advising staff and through the advising department's communications. The Associate Director of Alumni Relations engages alumni specifically to support our students’ academic and career development.

Currently, the primary ways that students can access our alumni are through the Student-Alumni Career Connections Program and Career Conversation Events. In addition, the Associate Director of Alumni Relations is available to provide general alumni- and career-related support for undergraduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences and Maxwell.

Contact Matt Wheeler at mrwheele@syr.edu for assistance, questions, or concerns.


Student-Alumni Career Connections Program

TL; DR - Over 200 alumni are available to meet with our students via video chat or phone for career conversations. Advisors can connect students with alumni by providing them with the link to the student registration form at any time. The Associate Director of Alumni Relations is notified immediately when a student registers and facilitates the rest of the process. Additionally, if an advisor encounters an alumnus who would like to engage with students, they can provide them with the link to the alumni registration form at any time. Here is a helpful quick reference document that details the process: Student-Alumni Connections Process Quick Reference.


Emails Templates for Advisors

The following information can be distributed to any undergraduate Arts & Science / Maxwell students that may be interested in participating in the program. This can also be found on the website at https://thecollege.syr.edu/student-success/career-exploration/career-exploration.


Illuminate your career path with the help of alumni

Hundreds of alumni have extended opportunities for Arts and Sciences and Maxwell students to connect with them for one-hour career conversations via video chat or phone. Each one is a valuable opportunity for you to gain career advice, networking experience, and industry knowledge. Take advantage today!

“I had a great conversation with my alumni and we are still in contact. I can tell that having this connection will be extremely helpful in my professional career.” - Matthew Aruty ’20, Economics

To participate, complete our registration today. Within, provide your contact information and rank the opportunities based on your interest. We’ll assign the opportunities and provide them to you following a Zoom training session.

Please feel free to contact Matt Wheeler, associate director of alumni relations, in the Undergraduate Academic and Career Advising Office at mrwheele@syr.edu with any questions.

Sign Up Now


Similarly, the following information can be shared with any alumnus of Arts & Sciences or Maxwell that may be interested in participating. This can also be found at https://thecollege.syr.edu/alumni/ways-stay-touch.


Provide mentorship and support via a phone or video chat

Help our students illuminate a more direct path to success. Consider participating in one-hour career conversations via video chat or phone. Sharing your career journey and advice takes very little time, but it can make a big difference in a student’s direction, preparedness, and confidence. To get started, simply fill out this short online registration.

“I think this program is amazing! The student came prepared with great questions, and also had fantastic on-the-spot follow-up questions/responses to the information I shared with her. I would be happy to meet with her on a monthly basis and/or meet with other students. This is what being Orange is all about!” -  Laura Cohen ’15, Women's & Gender Studies and Magazine Journalism

“I had a great conversation with my alumni and we are still in contact. I can tell that having this connection will be extremely helpful in my professional career.”- Matthew Aruty ’20, Economics

Once you register, you will be contacted directly by a staff member with complete details of the program. Our Undergraduate Academic and Career Advising team will work to connect you with students based on the students’ interests.

Please feel free to contact Matt Wheeler, associate director of alumni relations, in the Undergraduate Academic and Career Advising Office at mrwheele@syr.edu with any questions.

Sign Up Now


Complete Description and Process

The Student-Alumni Career Connections Program is an ongoing alumni networking/mentoring program that provides students with open opportunities to engage with alumni through our office. Speaking with alumni in these “informational interviews” is a valuable opportunity for students to gain career advice, networking experience, and industry knowledge. It also provides a fulfilling experience for the alum and a chance for them to support students outside of giving a monetary gift. Fortunately for our students, our alumni are generous with their time and have a wealth of knowledge to share. The information they receive, and the relationships they form with alumni, will help prepare our students for success post-graduation through career exploration and networking and are likely to open the door for internship and job opportunities.

Beginning in April 2020, we asked all our alumni to indicate their availability to participate in one-hour, one-on-one career conversations with our students via video chat and a phone call. Alumni expressed their interest in a comprehensive alumni registration form that allows them to express their interest in a variety of engagement opportunities. While we cannot guarantee that we are able to provide every alum an opportunity to engage with our students, we make every effort to do so.

We present the Student-Alumni Career Connections opportunities offered by our alumni to our students in a student registration form. Within the registration, we present the students with the alums' grad years, majors, locations, and general descriptions of their expertise or current positions. For example, "A 1985 political science alumnus working in international relations and protected area management for the US National Park Service in Washington, DC," or "A 2017 English alumna working as a media planner for a global marketing agency in Roosevelt, New York." The idea is that we give the students enough info to express their interest in the opportunities without revealing enough info for them to be able to easily identify and connect with this set of alumni without our facilitation (as promised to the alumni).

As students complete the registration, they indicate which alumni they are interested in meeting with and rank them based on their level of interest. Upon completion of the registration, the student is prompted to register for a 45-minute networking training session. After they attend a training session, the Associate Director of Alumni Relations reviews their selections in their registration and tries to assign them an alumni match within 48 hours. The students' ranking and the alumni's availability are considered. For example, many students are interested in alumni working in high-ranking financial positions, and commonly rank them high in their selections. To avoid connecting an alumnus with too many students at once, the Associate Director of Alumni Relations may need to connect the student with an alumnus that is of less interest to the student at that time.

The Associate Director of Alumni Relations reaches out to the alumnus that a student selects immediately after the student attends the networking training to make them aware that a student connection will be facilitated in 48 hours. In some cases, the Associate Director of Alumni Relations confirms the alum's availability. Most commonly, confirmation is used because the alum has previously met with a student or they have stated a preference for confirmation. Alumni are not provided any information about their student match before being connected. We place the onus on the student to introduce themselves to the alumni as part of their career development. We ask alumni to please keep in mind that their interactions will be a learning experience for many of our students, so some may lack polish. We ask that they please help us identify teachable moments and deliver constructive feedback that will set students up for success in the future. If the alum expresses that they would like to opt-out of the program, the Associate Director of Alumni Relations removes them from the student registration.

48 hours after the student attends the networking training and the alumnus has been informed of a pending connection, an urgent connection email is sent to the student and the alumnus. At this stage, it becomes the students' responsibility to schedule the connection with the alum within 24 hours. The email's attachments include an Alumni Connections Guide for Students, a Networking Strategies Guide, a Guide for Career Success in Difficult Times (due to COVID-19), and a PDF export of the alumnus' registration (with their home address removed and potentially other requested info removed). A sample email is included here:

Student-Alumni Connection Email

To: (Student)

Cc: (Alumnus)

SUBJECT: Your Alumni Match, (Alumni's Name) - Timely Action Required

Hi (Student First Name)!

I am thrilled that you have committed to connect with one of our accomplished alums for a video chat or phone call! Learning about potential careers is a crucial part of your career development, and I am certain that you will find this networking opportunity valuable. Based on your expressed interest in the registration, I have connected you with the attached alum (also cc’ed here).

      • Please contact your alumni match within 24 hours to arrange your conversation.
      • Please review the materials and be prepared to present yourself professionally. Remember, be prepared, curious, and gracious!
      • If you meet in a video chat, we’d love to see a screengrab of your smiling faces! Bonus points for including Orange paraphernalia! You may even see it featured in an SU news article or on social media.
      • Finally, if you are unable to participate for any reason, please let me and your alumni match know as soon as possible. However, please make every effort to honor your commitment.

Enjoy this experience! If you have any questions or concerns along the way, please do not hesitate to contact me.

All the best,

(Associate Director of Alumni Relations Signature)

The student and the alumni schedule their interaction and complete their career conversation without further facilitation from the Associate Director of Alumni Relations. Twelve days later, the Associate Director of Alumni Relations reaches out to the student and the alumnus separately via to obtain confirmation that the conversation occurred and to gather feedback on the process and the interactions. The sample emails are included below:

Student Email

To: (Student)

SUBJECT: How did your alumni connection go?

Hello!

 At your earliest convenience, will you please take a moment to complete this brief survey to close the loop on your recent alumni connection(s)?

 Even if a conversation did not occur as planned, will you please take a moment to complete the survey or shoot me an email? It would be a tremendous help.

Thank you in advance and have a great week!

All the best,
(Associate Director of Alumni Relations Signature)

Alumnus Email

To: (Alumnus)

SUBJECT: How did your student connection go?

Hello!

When you have a chance, will you please take a moment to complete this brief survey to close the loop on your recent student connection?

We’ve been receiving confirmation and praise from most of the students, but even if your meeting did not happen as planned, will you please take a moment to complete the survey? It would be a tremendous help in measuring the success of the program.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if there’s anything I can do to help you connect with students or if you haven’t heard from your assigned student. We’re going to keep these remote connections going, so I may be reaching out to you again soon (if I haven’t already!) as students continue to express their interest.

Thank you again for supporting them!

All the best,
(Associate Director of Alumni Relations Signature)

The received information is recorded and communicated monthly to leadership in the Advising Office and the Advancement Offices of the College of Arts and Sciences and Maxwell. Student participation will be indicated in their Orange SUccess profile and input by the career team. Alumni participation will be indicated in their Citrus profile and input by the Arts and Sciences advancement team.

Once a student has connected with an alum and followed up accordingly, they can connect with additional alumni by contacting the Associate Director of Alumni Relations. Ideally, after completing networking training and a few interactions with alumni, the student will have the confidence and ability to forge new connections with alumni and others in the industries they want to pursue without the assistance of the program.

Questions? Concerns? Recommendations? Please contact Matt Wheeler, Associate Director of Alumni Relations, at mrwheele@syr.edu.

 

Career Conversation Events

TL; DR - Send students to Handshake to learn about upcoming career-focused events featuring our alumni and encourage them to attend. We host many every semester.

Every semester, the Associate Director of Alumni Engagement develops a program series in which alumni, or panels of alumni, present and network with students. We call these Career Conversations. These events, commonly hosted in collaboration with the College of Arts and Sciences advancement team, alumni share their career journey, offer advice, or discuss a relevant topic. The events include question and answers sessions, and often the presenting alumni share their contact information for students to connect and follow up with them after the event.

As advisors, we should encourage students to attend the Career Conversations that would be most valuable to their academic and career goals. However, they are commonly open to all students and helpful to students studying any major.

Please direct students to log in to Handshake to see a list of upcoming Career Conversations, as well as many other opportunities available to them.

 Questions? Concerns? Recommendations? Please contact Matt Wheeler, Associate Director of Alumni Relations, at mrwheele@syr.edu.


Resources for Students

Resources for Alumni


  • Freshmen
  • Sophomores
  • Juniors
  • Seniors

CAS|Max Certified Interview Ready

  • Resume Review
  • Interview Workshop

CAS|Max Building a Professional Network Certification

  • LinkedIn Workshop / Group Advising Session
  • Alumni Networking Event

CAS|Max Experiential Education Certification

  • Handshake Profile
  • Experiential Learning Group Advising Session

(Career Ready Milestones - PP Slide)

  • Internships
  • Community Service
  • Research
  • Study Abroad

Are your students unsure what types of positions they’ll be prepared for, based on their interests, major, and/or minor? With a liberal arts education, the sky’s the limit. The skills and competencies they are perfecting now will set them up for career flexibility throughout their life. Recommend that they start exploring with “What Can I Do with This Major." It has helpful information about specific industries and links to employment opportunities by major in both private and public sectors. They’ll also be able to connect with professional associations there. Then, suggest that they check out the resources available to them on Syracuse University's Career Services'  Exploration Resources page.

Once they’ve checked out all these resources, encourage them to set up an appointment with you to answer any questions, and help them put it all in perspective.

Resources for Students


Handshake is a platform designed to guide students through their career search journey. Whether they know exactly what they are seeking or if they're just starting, Handshake has the tools to take them where they want to go. They can search jobs and internships (including oncampus opportunities) by major, industry, title and location to explore opportunities within their major (or the major they are considering). They can also learn what employers expect, and what type of qualifications they need to develop to become a top candidate for the positions they want.

Resources for Students

  • Career Assessment
  • Career Mock Interview
  • Community Service
  • Exploratory/Declaring Major
  • First Destination Survey
  • Graduate School Planning
  • Internship
  • Job Search Strategies
  • OPT/CPT
  • Research
  • Resume/Cover Letter
  • Strong Interest Survey
  • Student Employer Concern

The Strong Interest Inventory ® assessment is an excellent career tool to help students decide on the major that’s right for them, and what steps they can take after graduation. Making informed decisions based on their interests can help them achieve greater success in college and find a career path that is fulfilling.

When students identify their interests through the Strong Interest Inventory ®, they receive information that will help them:

  • Find courses they enjoy
  • Identify rewarding career fields
  • Choose a major that reflects their interests
  • Discover a potentially satisfying work environment

The Strong Interest Inventory ® can benefit students at any stage in their development, however it is particularly useful if...

  • They have completed 45 credit hours and are still unsure of declaring a major
  • They have taken several courses in their intended major and discovered that their interests lie elsewhere
  • They are on academic probation

Student can get started by completing this questionnaire!

Students will hear from an A&S | Maxwell advisor within three business days. Next steps include:

  • A link to the Strong Interest Inventory ®
  • An hour appointment with a Certified Strong Interest Inventory Advisor to review their results
  • A worksheet designed to help them apply their Strong Interest Inventory ® results to choosing a college major.

Resources for Students