Career-Related Volunteer Roles
Share your career expertise with Southwestern students and alumni.
Today’s and future college students will need assistance in navigating the changing employment landscape with confidence and clarity. It is difficult to determine what jobs will look like in 20 or 30 years due to a rapidly changing workplace. However, those working in the various industries have an idea for what the future holds in the coming decades. For this reason, career readiness is evermore dependent on the insight and perspectives of working professionals.
Review the list of career-related volunteer roles at Southwestern and let us know about which you would like to learn more. A member of the Southwestern staff will contact you with additional information.
Alumni Network Mentor
Time Commitment: 90-120 minutes annually
Limited to Southwestern alumni only
Consider sharing your wisdom and expertise with Southwestern students. By signing up for this program, you will be matched with possibly two to three students during the course of the annual program. You may connect with your student mentees by phone, video conference, or in-person (e.g., at Homecoming). Any one conversation takes between 30-45 minutes. Click here for a full description of the program and your involvement as an alumnus/a.
To register as an Alumni Mentor, please create an account in PirateConnect. After creating your account, or if you are already a member of the PirateConnect community, navigate to the Mentoring Programs tab, click the green “Join” button and fill out the registration questions. If you have any questions regarding the registration process, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Career Trek Sponsor
Time Commitment: 8 hours (includes planning and facilitating)
Career Treks provide students with the opportunity to visit physical places of work, network with members of the Southwestern community, increase their awareness of career opportunities, and immerse themselves in an organization’s culture for a day. Southwestern plans Career Treks for a small group of students to visit a place of work together. Career Treks typically involve students’ travel to a desirable organization, and our contact at the location creating a two-hour agenda that may include a tour of the facility, meetings with other Southwestern community members who work there, and a look at the operations of the workplace.
For organizations outside of the Central Texas area, it is advantageous to hold the Treks in Dallas, Houston, and other locations when students are on breaks.
Employer Advisory Board Member
Time Commitment: Two meetings annually. Meetings will be held in-person with a virtual option for those unable to attend in person
The Employer Advisory Board includes industry professionals who seek to provide support, advice, feedback, and advocacy to Southwestern University’s Center for Career & Professional Development. The Southwestern University Employer Advisory Board engages professionals whose expertise:
- Enhance institutional knowledge of industry topics, best practices, and trends
- Support the preparation of Southwestern students for career opportunities and graduate/professional school attendance
- Strengthen the University’s relationship with local, national, and global organizations and companies
Expert in Residence
Time Commitment: 4-8 hours per week
Southwestern invites career professionals to serve as “Experts in Residence” to mentor students and recent graduates in their career exploration. During their residency, individuals will share their expertise in various capacities, including resume critiques, mock interviews, and overall career coaching. The Experts’ industries will vary to include business, entrepreneurship, non-profit management, the arts, and other areas. Experts will spend between 4-8 hours per week meeting on campus or virtually with current students and young alumni.
Internship Referral or Host
Time Commitment: Varies
An internship is an opportunity for a student to apply their coursework to a hands-on career experience on a short-term basis. How can you help? Southwestern is seeking more than 180 high quality internships per year as a part of the Strategic Plan. Alumni, parents, and friends can help by hosting an intern or connecting us with your organization. Many companies already have strong, competitive internship programs that would be wonderful fits for Southwestern students. Normally, these companies have target institution lists and other processes that our alumni can help us break into.
- Connect us with your organization – If you have the ability to directly connect Southwestern with someone on your University Recruiting or Human Resources team, this is a great way for us to start building a relationship.
- Make referrals for students – If your organization has an internal referral process for applicants, let us know that you would be willing to make referrals for Southwestern students.
Time Commitment: Varies depending on your interest
PirateConnect serves as Southwestern’s online networking platform. By creating a profile in this online tool, students and alumni will locate your information and connect with you virtually through PirateConnect. Fellow Pirates will reach out to inquire about your work experiences and career journey. You will find the opportunity to help students define their own goals and support them as they work toward those goals. Students are learning how to network; be a part of that experience and help them broaden their scope of opportunities.
Professional Development Speaker (alumni or student focused)
Time Commitment: 2–3 hours
Is your career expertise in a field that would provide professional development for current students or alumni? We are seeking alumni, parents, and friends who can speak to a topic that will help prepare Pirates for new opportunities. These presentations may take place on-campus as in-person events (for students) or online as virtual events (particularly for alumni).
Post a Job or Internship Opportunity
Time Commitment: 15 minutes
When a job posting, especially an entry level position, or an internship becomes available at your place of employment, share the opportunity on Southwestern’s hiring website, HireSU, or within PirateConnect. Students and young alumni search for these opportunities on a regular basis.
Share Your Story: Curious Conversation or Alumni Interview
Time Commitment: 1–3 hours
Limited to Southwestern alumni only
Alumni are invited to share their story since graduating from Southwestern. Students are interested to learn about your career choice – and the journey that you took to get to where you are. Sharing your story will educate students about their options and opportunities. We invite alumni to share their stories through online Q&A sessions with students (called Curious Conversations) and alumni interviews for print for video production.