When it comes to your career, with a little hard work and perhaps some help from DePaul, you just might land your dream job. DePaul’s Corporate Connectors program, a part of Alumni Career Services, offers a great way to get your foot in the door at a company that interests you, and best of all, it is a free resource for all DePaul students and alumni.
The Corporate Connectors program provides professional alumni contacts at hundreds of organizations nationwide, from Amazon to Zurich North America. Through the program, DePaul alumni offer to meet or correspond with fellow alumni and students who are applying to their companies or who want to find out more about a particular industry. The program is also useful for employees to meet fellow alumni (and new co-workers) to transition smoothly into their new job.
The program began in 2009, when the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., DePaul’s president, was interested in identifying alumni who could greet DePaul graduates on their first day of work. What started as a “meet and greet” evolved into a program where Corporate Connectors volunteers answer questions about their companies, help prepare fellow alumni for interviews and facilitate networking within the ranks. Many alumni volunteers have filled internships and jobs through this program.
“Since the inception of the Corporate Connectors program, there have been over 4,300 requests to connect, and many of these requests have led to informational interviews or networking opportunities within the companies,” says Colleen Fashing, associate director of alumni relations. “Many people don’t hear back from potential employers when they apply for a job—so this is a great way to get that direct connection. These volunteers can’t necessarily get you the job, but they can get you directly connected with the company.”
Gustavo Marquez (BUS ’14), a financial analyst at Morgan Stanley in New York City, used the Corporate Connectors program to great benefit.
“I first found out about the Corporate Connectors program while taking classes at DePaul,” says Marquez, who majored in finance. “I knew that I was interested in the financial industry specific to trading, so the Corporate Connectors program connected me with a chief operation officer of a trading firm who gave me industry insight and great career networking advice.”
The Corporate Connectors program helped Marquez get a better understanding of the financial industry and the jobs available. Marquez was able to network with DePaul alumni and other key contacts in the financial industry and eventually landed an internship the summer of his junior year in the sales and trading division of Morgan Stanley. He continued to network throughout his internship and was offered a full-time position as an analyst as soon as he graduated from DePaul.
“I recommend the program to all students and alumni who take their careers seriously,” says Marquez. “It is extremely useful for anyone who wants to find out about a company or industry and go after what they want.
Marquez is so pleased with the program that he is interested in giving back to DePaul by becoming a volunteer to help alumni and students connect with his company.
The Office of Alumni Relations facilitates all initial connections made through the program, but it is up to participants to decide how to use it to their benefit. “It is important to be ready to talk to the Corporate Connectors volunteers,” Fashing advises participants. “They are performing this service on their free time, so do your research on their company ahead of time and be ready to use this benefit to your advantage.”
By Andrew Zamorski