Career Services Wins Creativity and Innovation Award for Year-Long Personal Branding Initiative
The Sarah Lawrence College Career Services Office will receive an Alva C. Cooper Award for Best Practices in Career Services from the Metropolitan New York College Career Planning Officers Association, an organization comprised of career services professionals from more than 60 colleges and universities in the metropolitan area. New York area. Sarah Lawrence’s team will win the “Creativity & Innovation Award” in May for their year-long efforts to educate students on personal branding. This is the sixth best practice award given to the Sarah Lawrence Office of Career Services since 2010.
“Receiving this award is a real honor,” said Angela Cherubini, Director of Career Services. “But even more gratifying is knowing that our programming has a real and demonstrable impact on the professional development of our students.”
The Services Career Office has increasingly focused on the importance of Sarah Lawrence students marketing themselves professionally across all platforms, offering personal branding appointments and recruiting experts from the service community. College faculty and staff and its network of alumni, relatives and friends to advise students on how to own and refine their online profiles. During the fall 2021 semester, Career Services connected Kathy Yeu, parent of alumnus Michelle Nigro ’15 and founder of LEAP to Brand, with psychology faculty member Meghan Jablonski to offer a class of Master on Personal Branding in the Jablonski Foundations Undergraduate Course in Workplace Culture & Well-Being, a practical internship. In addition to offering the 90-minute masterclass in October, which she adapted from a presentation she regularly gives to corporate clients, Yeu met with the students one-on-one for one-on-one consultations. Inspired by Sarah Lawrence’s focus on personal branding and helping students establish a professional identity, Yeu donated $25,000 to launch the Kathy Yeu and David Nigro Fund for Student Development. career, helping to significantly expand career programs and initiatives each year.
“It’s nice to see the great strides Sarah Lawrence has made in the level of career advice and support she provides to students,” Yeu said. “Between the internship taught by Meghan and the events and services organized by Career Services, students are well on their way to diverse and fulfilling careers.”
(Related reading: Personalize: Kathy Yeu P’15 partners with Career Services to put students on the path to career success)
In addition to the partnership with Yeu and Jablonski, Sarah Lawrence’s award-winning focus on branding included a variety of programs and initiatives organized in collaboration with staff and faculty in many areas of the College. These included:
- “TikTok, Instagram & Clubhouse: Laving Emerging Media for Career Success,” an event hosted in partnership with the Alumni Relations Office that featured former emerging media experts and an opportunity for students to have their photo taken by a professional photographer.
- Partnered with two student groups – the Pre-Health Alliance and THRIVE, a mentorship program for students of color – to help their members build professional profiles and make LinkedIn work.
- “Polishing Your Profile: A LinkedIn Workshop”, organized in partnership with Library staff and The Learning Commons and aimed at showing undergraduate and graduate students how to create a dynamic LinkedIn profile to take advantage of internship opportunities and employment.
- Career Services’ annual Spring Internship, Career & Volunteer Fair returned in-person after a COVID-induced virtual hiatus, and included a second opportunity for students to have their photos taken by a professional for use on social media and professionals.
Through the efforts of Career Services, to date more than 720 Sarah Lawrence students have LinkedIn accounts, about half of all undergraduate students. Many of these profiles display a professional portrait, taken at the SLC. It’s a key part of professional development, says Jamie Jordan ’19 MFA ’23, assistant director of career services. “According to LinkedIn, members with portraits are 9x more likely to receive connection requests, 21x more likely to get profile views, and 36x more likely to receive messages,” Jordan said. “By providing the opportunity to have a professional photo taken, we have removed a financial barrier and made a strategic investment in our students.”
To learn more about the Office of Career Services, including how members of the Sarah Lawrence community can get involved, visit sarahlawrence.edu/ocs.