Luncheons serve up career experience and advice for students

New program will connect UBC Okanagan students with successful UBC alumni mentors

Mentors with real-world experience in a wide range of career fields will soon be helping UBC Okanagan students choose and prepare for bright futures, thanks to the new Interior Savings Mentoring Luncheon Series.

Beginning in September, the series of monthly working lunches will connect students and recent UBC Okanagan graduates with UBC alumni who have built successful careers in law, education, management and other fields, says Shawn Swallow, Associate Director of Career Services at UBC Okanagan.

"The luncheons offer thought-provoking, career-building exposure to the realities of the working world and, more specifically, the professions they have either considered or decided to pursue," Swallow explains.

"We believe the experience will foster the careers of young graduates and encourage local employment options for university-educated talent. It's also a direct way for alumni to contribute to the future success of up-and-coming industry and community leaders. In an increasingly competitive job market, they receive access to a quality pool of potential employees," he says.

With major sponsorship from Interior Savings Credit Union, each event from September through March will focus on a particular profession or industry sector -- law, education, business and finance, engineering, health and community development, and public service. An April luncheon showcasing Aboriginal career paths and mentors is also planned.

"One of the goals is for students and young alumni to engage their UBC connections and find opportunities to apply their education," says Brenda Tournier, Manager of Alumni and Community Relations.

"We're excited about creating a real-world, candid atmosphere where students and recent graduates can learn from our accomplished career-established alumni," Tournier says. "There are over 8,000 UBC alumni in the Thompson-Okanagan region and their level of commitment and contribution to their networks and communities is truly inspiring. Many of our local civic, business and social leaders got their start at UBC."

At each luncheon, panels of four alumni speakers will relate in personal terms why they chose their career and how they got into it, what helped them along their career path, what they would do differently if they had the chance, and what advice they would give to someone starting out in the profession today. In addition, Tournier says each table will have two professionals from within the career category, so conversations during lunch are sure to be both interesting and topical.

Along with the events themselves, students will be provided with career development resources including briefings on the profession, what employers are looking for, what questions they might ask in an interview, and networking training.

First Event: Law
Time: 11:30 a.m .to 1:30 p.m.
Date: Friday, Sept. 21
Location: Royal Anne Hotel

Bus transportation from the UBC Okanagan campus to the event will be available. For information about participating in the series, contact Brenda Tournier at UBC Okanagan, 250.807.8167.

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