By Robbin Beauchamp, Wentworth Institute of Technology
Per Michael Page, in his article “Six Ways Networking Can Benefit Your Career”, networking helps to strengthen your relationships, is a source of fresh ideas, raises your profile, opens new doors, facilitates the exchange of information and widens your support network. As a person who networks frequently, I can attest to the accuracy of Mr. Page’s assertions.
When I was relatively new to the career services field, my then-director insisted her staff get involved with EACE. For me, this meant, among other things, taking advantage of the Professional Exchange visits. I could travel and see the inner workings of organizations that I would not have had access to if not for EACE. I learned about the hiring practices of very prestigious organizations such as the FBI in Washington, DC, NBC in New York City, L’Oréal in New York City, numerous Wall Street investment firms and many more. I could bring this information back to share with my colleagues and more importantly, with the students I supported. This information gave me credibility with those students, which they shared with their friends, which helped to increase the profile of the career services office.
The other benefit of attending Professional Exchange visits was the ability to meet my peers from schools in our region. I could share information with them about the work I was doing and more importantly, learn more about the work they were doing. Bringing best practices back to campus allowed me to help improve the services provided to our students. Some of the people became friends over the years, and a few became mentors. Because of the networking I did while on Professional Exchange visits, I forged relationships with members that allowed me to expand my participation in EACE to become a member and then co-chair of committees, including Professional Exchange. This involvement allowed me to be elected twice to the board of directors. These experiences helped me to become a better career services practitioner and ultimately, an effective director and chief career services officer. Honestly, I owe my career to the people of EACE and it all started with going on a few Professional Exchange visits.
As the co-chair again this year of PE, I am excited about the visits the committee has set up. Join me this summer on the 17 visits we have scheduled. Or, consider joining the committee this fall as we begin to plan Professional Exchange visits for 2018. Register today for the 2017 visits at: http://www.eace.org/?page=PEEvents
Robbin Beauchamp joined Wentworth Institute of Technology as Director of Cooperative Education and Career Development in Boston in September 2014.