Alumni giving back to the community

9 May 2023
Rachel Leatham
Rachel Leatham, Associate Director

Have you ever heard “Carleton alumni are Carls for life?” Alumni are one of the most powerful resources that students have to help them to navigate their career journey. We encourage students to reach out to alumni to learn about the world of work outside of Carleton. 

Carleton alumni often tell us that they wish that they would hear from more current students. Most are eager to share stories about what they do and the meandering path they took to get there. Their lived career experiences often reflect the breadth of interests and depth of knowledge that they gained while at Carleton. 

Alumni volunteers help to ensure students can hear insider perspectives and that Career Center services reflect the realities of work. Our Carleton Careers Alumni Board includes Bru Mutebi ’02, an American studies major turned product manager;  Susan Hammel ’86, a philosophy major who now is an impact investor with a CFA; Ailsa McCulloch ’12, a geology major expert in infrastructure development; and, Peter Fritz ’08, a history major who became a corporate lawyer. When our alumni board returns to campus twice yearly, they bring their insights about navigating work-life balance and experiences that they had that helped open up opportunities after graduation. 

In the Career Center, our coaches encourage students to use the alumni directory and LinkedIn to discover alumni who are doing things that spark their interest and make them curious about the world around them. We coach students on how to politely request an informational interview over email and we can even do a mock informational interview with a student to help them to gain confidence in the setting. We encourage students to ask questions about how their identities have influenced their career choices and experiences in a workplace setting. Coaches also welcome students to ask for recommendations for additional connections that they could make to broaden their networks. And alumni get to catch up on life on campus, typically asking students about their favorite faculty and traditions on campus. 

Beyond volunteering and networking, Carleton alumni often reach out to the Career Center with leads on jobs and internships that would be of interest to Carleton students. And Carls look out for other Carls as they acclimate to new settings, often serving as hosts to introduce them to new environments and ways of living. Being part of Carleton truly means being part of Carleton for life.