Last week, we sent an email advertising our new Alumni Career Services website on the alumni online community. The first line of the email read “You asked, we answered!” referring to the creation of our new Alumni Career Services website.
I know some of you are thinking, “it’s about time.” That’s true; the development and creation of our Alumni Career Services Program is in recognition of the times and the tools that order our world. We live in a world of economic instability, constant technological innovation, multiple career transitions and less job security for new grads.
Others are no doubt saying, that’s nice, but how I can I benefit? Is being a McGill alumnus/alumna going to help me at all in my career path? I’d like to make the case for you that yes, it can.
I came to McGill as a 17-year-old who had decided somewhat arbitrarily that going to university in the United States just wasn’t for me. Enter McGill and Montreal, a school that would be sure to challenge me, located in a vibrant, cosmopolitan city. What I found was an environment in which countless smart students were thrown together and expected to connect, compete, thrive and survive. And survive we did; from study groups in Upper Rez, to intramural sports in the Fieldhouse and pretending to study at McLennan. Whether it was arguing with annoying poli-sci kids in the Arts lounge or pitying the Science and Engineering kids with their early morning classes and full complement of labs, we found ways to get through the daily stresses. More than anything, the community of smart and vibrant people did it for me. And it still does.
I now have friends, and friends of friends, who work all over the world in countless industries at amazing companies; from technology to energy, to fashion, sports, retail, healthcare, government and academia; the list goes on. And here is where Alumni Career Services comes in; that is the kind of community we’d like to tap into and grow through ACS for the benefit of all grads.
The description for the McGill University Alumni group on LinkedIn reads: “All 200,000+ graduates of McGill University including three astronauts, four Nobel Prize recipients, nine Oscar winners. Membership open to any alumnus/alumna of McGill University.” When you look closely at the range of expertise in the McGill community, there is huge sharing potential across a number of areas. One of the most challenging aspects of professional life and therefore arguably one of the most rewarding is the work we must continuously do to balance improvement against complacency; to push forward past the developments and successes of the past.
I challenge McGill grads to get connected with us and each other, share stories and advice and help others to acquire the tools and skills we need to improve our own professional futures. Just follow the links… and then create your own new links, so to speak.