Centre College’s Center for Career & Professional Development (CCPD) is committed to preparing students for life after Centre, and it continues to incorporate innovative programming to give students the tools they need to achieve their goals. One of the newer initiatives is the Career Chats series, where students are given the opportunity to receive career advice and inspiration from successful alumni professionals in a variety of fields.
This fall semester, Career Chats topics have included data and analytics, finance, and the film and entertainment industry, all featuring Centre alumni who shared their paths to achievement in their chosen careers.
“Students love hearing from alumni who’ve taken the same classes and had the same experiences as they have,” says Joy Asher, director of CCPD. “It shows students that they, too, can get into those career fields and gives them strategies for getting there.”
The data and analytics chat in September, called Big Data, drew the largest crowd yet for a Career Chats session. It featured Cyrus Xi ’14, data engineer at Facebook, and Lauren Foley ’13, senior analyst in sales and performance analytics at ADT. October’s finance chat featured Kyle Poland ’02, associate vice president and financial advisor for Morgan Stanley, and Taylor Harrison ’16, senior financial analyst at Dell Technologies.
In November, Grey Munford ’04 and Matt Arnold ’96, took time to share their stories with students. Munford is senior vice president of communications at CBS, and Arnold is CEO and president at Darkling Entertainment and creator and executive producer of NBC’s “Siberia” and “Emerald City.”
“Persistance is the way things get done for creative people, because no one’s out there looking for you,” Arnold advised students interested in a career in film. “You have to kind of elbow your way in the door.”
Munford’s journey to CBS reflected the same level of persistence and determination, beginning during his college years when, because of his love of film, he said he had such a large collection of movies he was like a Blockbuster store to his friends.
“One of the things Centre does really well is providing infinite opportunities for people to get together and do weird, fun things,” Munford says. “And that, on its best day, is what the film industry does.”
Evan Aroko ’20 attended the film and entertainment session, and he said the duo’s advice was “very inspiring.”
“They kept stressing the fact that if one is passionate about both film and entertainment and desires to find a career in it, one must be fierce and be prepared to keep searching for opportunities to get their foot in the door,” Aroko explained. “If one continues to do this, opportunities should present themselves.”
CCPD helps students — and alumni — plan, prepare and promote their careers, as well as assists students with applications for internships and graduate school. Other tools the office makes available to students to help them hone their job-search and career development skills include career counseling, Career Roadmap, a plan to guide students toward career success throughout their undergraduate experience, and Career KickStart, an annual career exploration event for sophomores.
In addition, CCPD offers professional development services, including the Emerging Professionals series, a monthly series focusing on professional development topics; the Career Mentor Network, an online network of alumni who provide career information and advice to students; resume and cover letter reviews; mock interviews; direct connections with employers through on-campus information sessions and on-campus and virtual interviews; and peer educators, Centre students trained to provide career assistance to their peers.
by Cindy Long
December 7, 2017
Above: Matt Arnold ’96 (left) and Grey Munford ’04 appear onscreen during a live, remote conversation with Centre students.