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University of Cincinnati Alumni Association responds to alumni career needs

Placing a high priority on the professional advancement of Bearcat alumni, the UC Alumni Association is creatively using online and social medial outlets to respond to the demand for career resources. Such avenues benefit from having immediacy, low-cost and high impact attributes, all of which are particularly beneficial in the current economy. And the economy, of course, has intensified the need.

For networking, the association offers LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, as well as inCircle, a customized social and professional networking tool for alumni, students, faculty and staff.

"Alumni are telling us they need information that can be of value to their careers and professional fulfillment," says Myron Hughes, Bus '86, UCAA executive director. "We know there is a lot of information out there for people to get through, and we make every effort to provide UC messages that are interesting and relevant to our alumni."

Fellow alumni can have a vital role in conveying those messages, as demonstrated by Steve Harrison, MBA '63, when he returned to campus last year to address his alma mater community. With him, he brought an exciting new career tool -- CareerToolsPlus, a free, comprehensive, online resource to assist alumni with their job-search and career-development needs.

"Hire Me"

The product was developed by the company Lee Hecht Harrison, a $400-million global provider of career advisory, leadership consulting and professional development services, of which Harrison is chairman. The product is available to alumni at www.alumni.uc.edu through a corporate partnership with the alumni association and the College of Business.

Cited as the marketplace's premier offering among industry peers, CareerToolsPlus has an extensive set of features, including:

  • self-assessment tools
  • job-search steps
  • online tutorials on interviewing skills, networking and developing a resume
  • access to data on two dozen top U.S. job markets
  • strategic guidance to manage career development, whether or not you are in transition
  • an interactive component to get customized question-and-answer assistance

In his campus remarks, the messages Harrison shared came from a lifetime focused on career development and are pertinent to anyone in the workforce.

"Three words apply: Adapt. Sustain. Connect," says Harrison. "New-age careerists have to adapt to new and future workplace realities. They need to develop personal strategies that sustain their employability. And they must find a variety of ways to connect to new job and career opportunities.

"Unlike past generations, an individual has to make an ongoing, personal commitment. Today, the stakes are higher than ever. The competition is intense, and it's global."

Living UC alumni:  242,478
Sustaining & life members:  10,659

2010 Major Dates
UC vs. Oklahoma at Paul Brown Stadium, Sept. 25
Homecoming, Oct. 30

U.S. regional alumni networks
Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, N.C., Chicago, Cleveland/Akron, Columbus, Ohio, Connecticut, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Dayton/Middletown, Ohio, Denver, Detroit, Hilton Head, S.C., Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Fla., Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Memphis, Tenn., Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Naples, Fla., Nevada, New York City area, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Raleigh-Durham, N.C., San Diego, Calif., San Francisco, Sarasota, Fla., St. Louis, Tampa, Fla, Toledo, Ohio, Washington, D.C.

International alumni groups:
Canada, China, India

The University of Cincinnati Alumni Association has a 35-member volunteer Board of Governors that includes alumni from Greater Cincinnati and several states across the U.S. Board members' graduation dates span more than five decades.

UC Alumni Association
Myers Alumni Center
2906 Woodside Drive, P.O. Box 210024
Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0024
513-556-4344, 1-877-4-UCALUM (toll free)

Modern technology plays a vital role in active career management, but Harrison emphasizes going online is not a substitute for the fundamentals. It's a modern means to an ages-old end. Resources like CareerToolsPlus help keep a person focused, connected to key data, and working within a structured plan that makes career management both strategic and purposeful.

"The end game is to get to face-to-face meetings quickly," he says. "Use social networking to identify contacts at target companies. Look for the people who can connect you to them. This kind of strategic use of these sites can be very productive."

The alumni association encourages alumni to explore the various ways UC social media and networking can advance careers or keep them engaged with the Bearcat community.

Visit the website to navigate what UCAA has available.

Career advice from a pro

Developer of CareerTools- Plus, Steve Harrison, MBA '63, offers the following advice for fellow UC alumni actively job-seeking and managing their careers:

Job search is a sales job, and the product is you. Prospect, present the product impressively and close the "sale."

Job seekers may need to sharpen their focus to match their strengths and interests with opportunities that constitute a good fit. Ask yourself, "What's my purpose and passion? Where do I want to be? What type of industry, company culture and organizational value system fits me?" Then answer yourself honestly.

Demonstrate flexibility, agility and adaptability that can translate to adding value to any organization.

Be somewhat conversant about issues consuming business leaders these days. Some of these are innovation, globalization, corporate social responsibility, sustainability, business ethics, talent management and leadership.

Remember that from an employer's perspective, it's about them, not just about you. Companies hiring today are focused on filling their needs. Job candidates must understand those needs and demonstrate how they're well suited to filling them.

Avoid self-fulfilling prophecies. Don't dwell on why someone might not hire you (changing job market, new technology or outdated skills). You can always learn new things. Businesses will always need experience, vibrancy and leadership.

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