A new initiative for the Alumni Association

by Laura Metcalfe

Anna De Grauwe, an advisor at the Career Development Office, gave a presentation on LinkedIn.

Durham College wants students to succeed inside the classroom and out in the working world.

The alumni association at Durham College has launched a new initiative called Backpack to Briefcase (b2B). The goal is to help current students and graduates navigate college as well as ensure success after graduation.

The first event was called LinkedIn 101. The aim of this presentation was to introduce students to the career-networking site as well as help them improve existing profiles.

“You can do a ton of things on LinkedIn for free,” says Anna De Grauwe, an advisor with the Career Development office.

It is important use social media and brand yourself to be able to find employment, says Sally Hillis, senior alumni development officer.

Students can get help from the Career Development office with building their profiles as well. Services offered through the office are free for students while at college and for a lifetime afterwards as Durham College alumni. Students can book half-hour appointments with a Career Development advisor and get help and advice their profiles and how to get more out of the LinkedIn website.

“It’s a lot of stuff I didn’t know especially about all the features that LinkedIn has,” said a first-year fitness and health promotion student after the LinkedIn presentation. “I found it very informative.  I took a couple of notes and looking forward to utilizing them on my LinkedIn account.”

B2B also presented a lecture about money management. Financial advisors from TD bank locations around Oshawa talked about how to set up a budget and stick to it. They also talked to students about the benefits of credit cards.

“So far, the feedback has been great!” says Hillis. She says parents are also pleased with the help being offered to the students. She says they want to know their children are being taught inside the classroom and also being prepared for the working world.

There are many other events coming up for the b2B initiative, including Alumni in the Pit on Feb. 7, job fair Feb. 8, a leadership summit Feb 23-24 with keynote speaker Leslie Hughes, a DC and UOIT professor, and an etiquette dinner Mar. 6.



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Laura is a second year journalism student at Durham College. She enjoys writing for campus, current affairs, and profile for The Chronicle. She loves to read and watch educational documentaries. Her work can be seen on Riot Radio. She hopes to work for CP24.