Campus & Community / Magazine Feature / People

Alumni turn to University for job help

Mary Reiter (MA education ’78) was looking for a part-time, challenging position doing rewarding work.

The retired Denver Public Schools teacher contacted DU’s Office of Alumni Relations for advice. Two months later, she landed her ideal job doing community organizing. The position was the result of a connection made by Cindy Hyman, DU’s associate director of alumni career programs.

“A company had called me initially looking for an intern, but I thought that the position sounded very challenging,” Hyman says. “I thought of Mary and asked them if they would consider a retired DU alumna instead.”

She made the introductions, and Reiter took it from there.

“I did my homework, researched the company and went into the interview with a plan for how I could do the job,” Reiter says.  She started her position with DaVita, a leading provider of kidney dialysis, in May.

Hyman was hired last fall in response to the growing number of DU alumni who are turning to the University for help navigating the challenging job market. She holds a law degree and has a background in legal recruiting, including stints at the Sturm College of Law and the Daniels College of Business.

Now housed in the Department of Alumni Relations, Hyman works as a liaison for DU graduates, connecting them to the career resources available across campus.

“I am a central person that alumni can call, and I do a quick triage to figure out where to direct them to get the best resources,” Hyman says. “I can give a litany of advice and ideas about where to go for help. I serve as a coordinator to send them in the right direction and get them where they need to be.”

Alumni from the Sturm College of Law and graduate students from the Daniels College of Business have lifetime access to their respective schools’ career centers. Graduate alumni of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies can use Korbel’s career services for one year following graduation.

All other DU graduates can take advantage of DU’s central Career Center for one year following graduation at no charge. After that, one-on-one career counseling services are available for $25 for the first hour and $75 an hour thereafter. Discounted packages are available.

“This is a wonderful deal compared to the general market,” Hyman says. “If people had to hire a resume writer and an interview coach on their own, it would get very expensive.”

Alumni also can access DU’s job boards and online career resources at no charge.

Hyman says most positions are found through personal connections.

“When you apply to ads through Monster, you’ll get lots of rejection letters because companies are getting huge volumes of applications,” she says. “The best way to move your resume out of that giant pile is through personal contact.”

Hyman has been working with the Career Center to develop DU’s new Professional Network, an online database that allows alumni in similar fields to make connections. The network is organized like a job board, so users can search for fellow alumni with specific types of expertise. “All contact is done via e-mail so it’s very unobtrusive,” she says. “Our alumni are very willing to serve as resources.”

Additionally, Hyman worked with 11 other universities in Colorado to host the first All Colorado Alumni Career Fair on June 17. The fair, which targeted job seekers with a degree and at least three years of experience, drew nearly 1,000 people and 75 employees.

“Our initial feedback was very positive from both employers and job seekers,” she says. “One of our alumni said she appreciated the University’s efforts to support alumni and the collaboration between the colleges and universities.”

Comments are closed.