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Recap: Career Week 2015

4 Mar

Career Week 2015 had more than 1,000 participants in the varying events and services offered February 8-14. DePaul alumni and graduate and adult students gathered for everything from networking events and workshops to career-building opportunities. This year marked DePaul’s eighth annual Career Week. The Office of Alumni Relations, the Career Center, and 30 other departments and partners collaborated to create an amazing lineup and promote events.

Opening Brunch

Career Week 2015 kicked off with a keynote address from alumna and Hyde Park consultant Leslie Andrews (SNL ’01). Andrews gave ground-breaking strategies for thriving in today’s job market and maintaining resilience through challenge and transition. The development opportunities did not end there. Participants had the opportunity to get their résumés critiqued and attend breakout workshops from university friend Alison Musgrave and ASK mentors Rajiv Nathan (BSC ’11) and Martin McGovern (BSC ’10) on the topics of resilience in your career and personal branding.

CW 2015 keynote brunch

Events and Services

Opening Brunch was just the first of more than 30 events and services offered throughout the week. After hearing strategies for maximizing the use of LinkedIn from DePaul professor Robert Gramillano, participants had the opportunity to take free professional headshots to update their profiles. “Boundaries are important in all relationships—even with connections made via social media,” says Gramillano.

CW 2015 LinkedIn event

Throughout the week, departments facilitated LinkedIn critiques and practice interviews while the Barnes & Nobel bookstore offered special discounts to participants. For alumni and adult students unable to come back to campus, this year’s Career Week calendar included more teleconferences and webinars than ever before! Topics included to phone interviews, careers in healthcare and technology’s connection to a job search.

Supporting the Careers of Those in Need

In light DePaul’s Vincentian mission, this year’s Career Week participants were not only concerned about advancing their own careers. On Saturday, Feb. 14, DePaul alumni and students spent Valentine’s Day spreading love to junior high and high school students from Marillac Social Center by advising them on topics relating to college and careers. Career Week participants also donated professional attire for individuals who are receiving employment services from the Marillac St Vincent de Paul Center’s outreach program with a goal of obtaining employment.

Special Thanks to Our Sponsor

Thank you to Geico whose support helps make Career Week possible. Did you know that alumni, students, and employees may be eligible to receive an 8 percent discount off their auto insurance? Check out Demon Discounts to learn more!

Did you attend Career Week 2015? Tell us about your experience by filling out the post-event survey.

If you missed Career Week 2015, you can get recaps, resources and handouts from individual sessions on the Career Week website. Throughout the year the Office of Alumni Relations continues to host events tailored to your career needs. On March 11, tune in to the monthly alumni career conference call The Art of Informational Interviews and visit the alumni events calendar for more workshops and networking opportunities.

Lessons from Career Week 2014

27 Feb

For Career Week 2014, approximately 900 DePaul alumni and graduate and adult students gathered Feb. 9-15 for a week of events designed to help them stand out in their careers and job searches. This year marked DePaul’s seventh annual Career Week. The Office of Alumni Relations, the Career Center, and 20 other departments and organizations collaborated to bring participants an amazing lineup of activities and guest speakers.

Opening Brunch

Career Week 2014 Opening Brunch

Career Week 2014 Opening Brunch

Career Week 2014 kicked off like never before. For the first time, participants had the opportunity to hear from not just one speaker but an entire panel of career experts on how to stand out from the competition. The alumni panel included Theresa Banks (CDM ’87), Jackie Benitez (BUS ’98, MBA ’07), Sonja Cotton (BUS ’87), Eric Hellige (CMN ’05) and Graham Warning (MBA ’91). Also new to the annual event’s agenda were two breakout sessions, free LinkedIn headshots and resume critiques following the panel. When reflecting on the event, SNL student Paul Pearson said, “This was my first time out to a Career Week event and I would recommend it, if not advocate for it, to any DePaul student or alumni from this day forward. Simply put, it was brilliant.”

Author Speaker Series

Melissa Wilson speaks at Career Week

Melissa Wilson (JD ’86) discusses job search techniques to stand out.

The Office of Alumni Relations and Law Career Services were proud to welcome alumna and social media expert Melissa Wilson (JD ’86) back to the Career Week calendar. Last year Wilson explained the concepts from her best-selling book, “Networking is Dead.” This year she met with participants to discuss techniques that help you stand out when job searching. In addition to Wilson, featured authors were Banks (from the brunch panel), Katharine Hansen and DePaul professor Terri Lonier, PhD.

New Volunteer Opportunity

Career Week volunteer event

Career Week participants gave back by advising students at Marillac Social Center about college and careers.

In light of DePaul’s Vincentian mission, this year the Career Week committee established ways participants could not only gain from CW 14, but also give back. On Saturday, Feb. 15, DePaul alumni and students spent time advising junior high and high school students from Marillac Social Center about college and careers. Participants also donated professional attire to the students of the CARA program.

Did you attend Career Week 2014? Tell us about your experience by filling out the post-event survey. You can also get recaps, resources and handouts from individual sessions on the Career Week website and see more photos from the event on our alumni Flickr account.

If you missed February’s events, DePaul offers more career services throughout the year! Visit the Alumni Career Services website for more workshops and networking opportunities.

The Blue Demon Challenge Was a Success!

21 Feb

BlueDemonChallenge-art

It’s amazing what DePaul alumni can do in just one day! We are thrilled to announce that we surpassed the 100 donor goal issued during our Blue Demon Challenge on Feb. 20. By the numbers: 229 alumni and counting answered the one-day challenge with gifts ranging from $1 to $1,000. Because we passed 100 donors, Ryan Dunigan (LAS ’08) also gave a $5,000 challenge gift to support DePaul students.

If you haven’t made a gift yet, you can still make a difference! Visit alumni.depaul.edu/allfordepaul to learn why alumni support is critical to the excellence of DePaul and the success of current students.

DePaul Team Brings Chronicle of Violence to Stage and Page

12 Dec

Jacob Sabolo (LAS ’12) shares his experience with “How Long Will I Cry?: Voices of Youth Violence,” a project that enlisted DePaul students and faculty to shed light on Chicago violence.

How Long Will I Cry? Book

Photo via BigShouldersBooks.com

In 2011 and 2012, while more than 900 people were being murdered on the streets of Chicago, creative-writing students from DePaul traveled all over the city to interview people whose lives have been changed by the violence and bloodshed. The project, created by Miles Harvey, assistant professor of English, resulted in a Steppenwolf Theatre production inspired by the interviews, as well as an anthology containing 35 narratives.

I enrolled in the project’s first course in the winter of 2011. On the first day of class, Harvey asked me and my fellow classmates to locate South and West Side neighborhoods on a map of Chicago. The majority of us could not. He talked about Derrion Albert, a high school student whose brutal murder was recorded on video in 2009, and Frankie Valencia, a DePaul student who was shot and killed in 2009. The stories made it clear how severe youth and gang violence is in the city and how many Chicagoans don’t really know what is going on or what they can do to help.

What Harvey shared with us was just a taste of the stories that were told during the quarter and, ultimately, through the course of the project. By the end of 2012, students had collected hundreds of transcripts and narratives; in 2013, “How Long Will I Cry?: Voices of Youth Violence” premiered at Steppenwolf. The play was also brought directly to the affected communities in Chicago’s South and West Sides. The public performances included an open discussion with cast members and the audience, which gave people the opportunity to tell their own stories.

In October 2013, the “How Long Will I Cry?” book was published by Big Shoulders Books, a nonprofit organization dedicated to distributing free anthologies by and about Chicagoans whose voices might not otherwise be shared. Due to the high demand, the 7,500 books that were printed were all given away in less than a month. A second printing is planned for early 2014, and details can be found on the Big Shoulders Books website. Journalist Rick Kogan reviewed the book for the Chicago Tribune and called it, “a stunning, stay-with-you-forever new book [that will] alter the ways in which you think. I guarantee that after you read this book, the next murder that screams across the headlines and television news will affect you more deeply than ever before.”

Books have been given away to libraries and schools, churches and prisons. A series of readings were held in the fall to support the book’s release, and attendees shared what the story has meant to them. Teenagers who normally do not read outside of school said they are reading the book. One high school student even said that it is the first book he has ever finished. A woman said she is learning how to read because of it. I hope that the book will help change Chicago by raising awareness about youth violence in the city, why it is happening and what needs to be done to eliminate it. And, of course, I hope that it makes people realize that everyone’s story deserves to be heard.

New DePaul Magazine Website Showcases Interactive Content

20 Nov

DePaul Magazine coverAs the latest issue of DePaul Magazine arrives in mailboxes around the country, alumni can also check out the new magazine website. The website offers additional content not found in the magazine, as well as an interactive flipbook. Currently, the site features first-person narratives, videos and audio content from 14 alumni under 40 who are profiled in the fall issue of the magazine.

The magazine articles and online stories can be shared through email or social media with a click of a button, and a “search” function allows readers to home in on their interests. Additionally, by clicking on the section titles within the flipbook, alumni can pull up a plain-text version of each article, which makes it easy to read the magazine on cell phones and other mobile devices. The website itself is optimized for the mobile experience.

Since the website will be updated between issues of the magazine, alumni should check back often for the latest articles, stories and audiovisual content. In the meantime, alumni are encouraged to spread the word about the fall issue and the new website. Happy reading!

Website screenshot

Bringing Smiles to Pediatric Patients, One Card at a Time

25 Apr

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Sometime in the near future, a homemade card adorned with a grinning hippo will brighten the day of a hospitalized child. This happy card was one of many that DePaul University alumni created during a recent volunteer event. Armed with glue sticks, colorful paper, pipe cleaners, stickers and vivid imaginations, alumni produced 80 artistic masterpieces on behalf of Cardz for Kidz, a local non-profit founded by DePaul MBA student Ike Nwankwo and alumnus David Harrison (BUS ’07).

Cardz for Kidz organizes casual gatherings where groups of friends or colleagues join together to make inspirational cards for pediatric patients and other children in need. “Our mission is uplifting spirits, one card at a time,” says Nwankwo. Since 2010, Cardz for Kidz has done just that for more than 3,000 children around the world. The organization partners with 14 hospitals and ensures that each card is hand-delivered to patients’ rooms.

It’s hard to exaggerate the gratitude and excitement of the young recipients. “The kids feel like somebody made a card specifically for them,” Nwankwo explains. “They feel so special.” For volunteers, the experience of creating homemade cards is equally heartwarming. “It was so fun to make a card that would make a child feel like a rock star,” shares Colleen Moodie (CMN ’11). “Each card is one of a kind—just like the kids who received them.”

As of April 18, DePaul student and alumni groups have contributed 209 cards to the cause. This puts DePaul slightly ahead of Northwestern University (202 cards) and the University of Illinois at Chicago (169). Alumni can get involved in the challenge—and bring joy to more hospitalized kids—by hosting a Cardz for Kidz party or making cards on their own. “A little piece of paper with marker on it makes a difference,” Nwankwo asserts. “The kids know someone is thinking of them.”

Feel free to be creative with your designs, but Cardz for Kidz cannot accept cards that reference the patient’s health in any way, such as “get well soon” or “feel better.” Similarly, Cardz for Kidz does not deliver cards that feature religious language or iconography. For more information, please review the organization’s guidelines.

Card drop-off location:
DePaul Alumni Center
2400 N. Sheffield Ave.
Suite 150
Chicago, IL 60614
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Or mail your cards to:
PHD Media
c/o David Harrison
225 N. Michigan Ave.
Suite 2150
Chicago, IL 60601

DePaul Wishes Olympic Luck to Coach Doug Bruno, USA Women’s Basketball

7 Aug

Doug Bruno (LAS ’73, MA ’88), coach of the DePaul University women’s basketball team, is working with another team this summer: USA Women’s Basketball. Bruno is with the team in London at the 2012 Summer Olympics as an assistant coach.

To celebrate Team USA advancing to the semifinals on August 9, DePaul alumni and friends shared good-luck messages for Coach Bruno and the players. See what fellow Blue Demons had to say by clicking on the picture! Just wait for the link to load and use the arrow keys to advance through the presentation:

Share your own message for Coach Bruno and the team by clicking “Leave a comment” below. Then, check back often: the presentation will change to include new alumni quotes and to reflect the path to the final game!