• Roy & Lillie Cullen Building

When our nation first saw an increase in unemployment, a decrease in job prospects, and, for some individuals, rescinded job offers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Southwestern’s Office of Alumni and Parent Relations and the Center for Career & Professional Development (CCPD) set forth a plan to assist members of the Class of 2020 with finding employment.

“With a flashback to 2008, we knew that the job market would be difficult for our most recent graduates to navigate. They are facing challenges that many of us did not have when completing our college experiences,” says Megan Frisque, Associate Vice President for Alumni and Parent Relations. “One of the benefits of attending Southwestern is that we have a strong network of alumni, parents, and friends that understands the value of the Southwestern Experience. We are calling upon this network to rally around the Class of 2020, to help them make connections in their chosen career fields–connections that hopefully lead to employment opportunities.”

To best facilitate an active, supportive network, a “Class of 2020 Job Seekers” group has been created within the University’s mentoring platform, PirateConnect (pirateconnect.southwestern.edu). Through this platform, the University staff will match graduates with individuals working in their career fields of interest.

Dozens of graduates have joined the “Class of 2020 Job Seekers” group this week. Therefore, the University is calling upon its alumni, parents, and friends to also join the “Class of 2020 Job Seekers” group within PirateConnect. There, professionals will be asked to connect recent graduates to their own networks, assist graduates in practicing their interview skills, provide feedback on resumes, and even share specific job prospects.

In addition to this networking group, the CCPD has developed a summer series of events to support graduates along their job search journey. Daniel Orozco, Director of the CCPD, shares, “The Center for Career & Professional Development team continues to create programming content to help our graduating seniors keep the wind in their sails. We have engaged our campus partners as well our powerful alumni network and friends of Southwestern to navigate these unprecedented times. Our 2020 graduates and any current students are encouraged to check out our summer series of events.” Additionally, the CCPD will be reaching out to each individual graduate to offer personalized job search support.

Any member of the Southwestern University community seeking employment or career-readiness resources is welcome to join PirateConnect or to participate in the CCPD’s summer workshop series. These support systems are available year-round. 

“The University would like to see each participating graduate have strong employment options to choose from,” states Orozco. The University cannot do this without the expanded Southwestern network. If you are able to provide professional support to the Class of 2020, join the newest members of the alumni community at PirateConnect. 

Questions regarding this initiative may be directed to pirateconnect@southwestern.edu

Upon joining PirateConnect, you will find the “Class of 2020 Job Seekers” group under the “Career Communities” tab, or use this direct link –https://pirateconnect.southwestern.edu/hub/southwesternconnect/group/group-class-of-2020-job-seekers/about