Giving Back, Moving Forward

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

By Vicki Stavig 

Nathan Windom, MBA ’07, was so impressed with the variety and quality of services he received from the Carlson Graduate Business Career Center that he has committed himself to helping other students with their job searches. “I help with mentoring MBA students,” says Windom, a senior business analyst in corporate strategy and business development at 3M. “That includes resume reviews, mock interviews, and how to best approach businesses. It’s important to me for two reasons. I want to help students by sharing some of the knowledge and experience I have. It’s also a thank you. The center provided so much help and guidance during my two years that I want to give back.”

In addition to alumni volunteers who share Windom’s commitment, the center offers a wealth of services and resources for job-seekers. “Our goal is to help students understand and identify their career focus and understand the job search process,” says Ann Lowry, the center’s director. “We also help them identify what makes them unique, how they can present that to potential employers, and how they can best articulate their leadership abilities.”

With that in mind, the center offers everything from career coaching to workshops and recruiting events. It also works directly with recruiters, providing them with space in 24 interview rooms and assistance with job postings. “We also have a new online job search called The Edge,” Lowry says, adding that the tool allows students to review job listings, post resumes, sign up for interviews, and more. “We want to create as many opportunities for students as we can and then help them be successful with their job searches.”

Next fall, the center will open a Career Leadership Academy to help prepare students for their career searches. “It will engage alumni in many ways, including networking, and help with interviewing and resume writing,” Lowry says. “Students appreciate working with alumni and find them very credible.”

Thomas Dixon is one of those alumni. A 2006 MBA graduate, he is a consultant in the Minneapolis office of the Kurt Salmon Associates management consulting firm, and regularly speaks with Carlson students about networking and job searches, as well as his own career. “I’m grateful for the support the center gave me,” he says. “When I was a student, I used the alumni database to network, and I never ran into any alumni who weren’t willing to give me 30 minutes or an hour of their time. I want to give the same thing back to students.”