Connecting DU: Sustainability Careers – Creating Engaging Networking Opportunities

As part of IMPACT 2025, DU is actively striving to engage students with networking opportunities that offer ways to connect to alumni and employers in a fun and casual atmosphere that takes the fear out of networking.   Career & Professional Development in partnership with the DU Alumni office, and the Center for Sustainability set out to create one of these opportunities.   On Tuesday, October 30, over 100 students, alumni, employers, faculty, staff, and community members gathered together to share and learn more about sustainability careers at the Connecting DU: Sustainability Careers event.   Many students from across campus were in attendance including the entire Environmental Sustainability Living and Learning Community.

Four alumni experts participated on a panel moderated by Chad King, DU’s Sustainability Director.  The panel shared industry trends, career paths, and strategies for professional development.  After the panel, employer and additional alumni experts lead table discussions. Representatives from DaVita, Newmont Mining, City & County of Denver, PCL Construction, Boulder County PACE, Woody’s Pizza and many other organizations shared advice, opportunities, and career path stories.  To make sure all students had the opportunity to meet as many connections as possible, discussions were limited to five minutes and then students moved to the next table.  The last part of the event was open networking so students and alumni could connect with each other to foster deeper connections and conversations. The strategy was to create a low-key and casual networking event.  It seemed to work as there were still several conversations going on long after the program ended!

This was a true collaboration from partners across campus.  Not only did this event help students complete some of the Career Achievement Milestones, the event was also tied to several of the IMPACT 2025 strategic directions including Preparing for Careers and Lives of Purpose and the Transformative Direction of One DU.  Chad King stated it best:  “It is great to see the success of engaging students and alumni around a theme/content area that is by its nature extremely interdisciplinary.  This event emphasized the work we’re doing on the curricular side to break down silos.  The fact that it highlighted several other areas of IMPACT 2025 showed the importance of continuing to work across these implementation strategies for shared successes.”

For more details, visit the Career & Professional Development event calendar.  Students can register through Pioneer Careers and alumni can contact to learn how to get involved and attend any of the Connecting DU series of events.

By Jane Kolb
Jane Kolb Career & Professional Development