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May 2012: Issue No. 6
Exclusively Sponsored by Union Institute and University
In this Issue

The flexibility you need; the attention you deserve. This has been Union Institute & University’s (UI&U's) approach to higher education for almost 50 years. A non-profit, accredited, private university spanning from Vermont to Ohio, to Florida, and California, UI&U serves motivated adults who seek transformative education and degrees that make a difference. Offering undergraduate, masters, and doctoral degrees, as well as non-credit and certificate programs, Union provides options for completing coursework, including accelerated degree completion through low-residency programs that combine distance learning with web-based education, small on-ground classes, and totally online programs, all promoting creative and critical thinking, and connecting scholarship with real-world practice.
The fact that Union offers AmeriCorps alumni scholarships ($3,000 for undergrad and $2,000 for graduate) is rooted in Union’s mission to engage, enlighten, and empower students as they pursue a lifetime of learning and service. Recognized alumni include: Dr. Carter McNamara, nonprofit management author and consultant, Lisa Lorimer, entrepreneur and author on values driven businesses, Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, and Dr. Dorothy Fields Jenkins, historian and African American history expert, among thousands of others.
Need to finish your undergrad degree but planning to move around? UI&U offers the perfect solution through relevant education—on your schedule – in an uplifting online community. Staff includes a former AmeriCorps (Public Allies) site director and provides support uniquely suited to your AmeriCorps experience. We applaud your great service and will assist you as you achieve your educational goals. For more information, contact 888.802.8575 or learn more here.
Joan Black
AC Program:
Central VT Community Action Council
Year served: 99-01

Yaketa Brooks
AC Program:
Miami Hurricane Preparedness & Readiness Program
Year served: 07-08

Kyle Patrick Williams
AC Program:
SC Campus Compact, KY Campus Compact
Years served: 10-12

If you have not considered a career mentor as  a career development tool, they are a resource that can significantly aid in the effectiveness and advancement of your career.  While an effective career mentor is not easy to find, if you can find a match for your specific needs, you can give yourself a significant competitive advantage against others in your field.
A career mentor can help increase your professional aptitude and learning curve because they serve as a knowledge transfer conduit, and shorten the knowledge acquisition process.  Instead of learning the ropes of your profession by yourself, career mentors allow you to tap into a wealth of knowledge that has been learned over years or even decades of employment in a specific profession.  In addition to helping you gain valuable insight and knowledge about your profession, they can help you expand your professional networks, offer motivation and encouragement, and work with you to map out a pathway to attain your career goals.  Studies have indicated a correlation between having a mentor and a more solid career strategy, higher levels of job satisfaction, quicker promotion, and increased earnings.
So how can you locate a career mentor? It helps to first be specific with what you want.  The more specific you can be about what you are seeking in a career mentor, the better the chances that you will partner with a mentor that proves to be a useful match.  AmeriCorps Alums recommends joining our LinkedIn Group here and searching for and messaging a fellow alum that has experience in your profession.  If LinkedIn isn't for you, consider approaching a colleague who you think has the right mix of senior leadership and business skills who could serve as an in-organization mentor.

Scenario: You’re about to complete your application for your dream job with your resume tailored and references on call when you realize that there is one big thing you forgot to prepare – your Social Media Accounts. Recent controversy has been circulating around the potential for employers to access or view your accounts, and it’s never been more important for you to safeguard your social media properties in order to protect your professional reputation.
For your social media accounts, make sure to familiarize yourself with the Terms of Service and the Privacy Settings. Know what others can see on your account, regardless if they are friends with you or not. Be aware of the Content Shared out of your account. This includes tweets, apps, status updates, photos shared, etc. Once it’s out on the internet, it only takes a quick search for someone to retrieve and potentially exploit it. Finally, if you plan on adding coworkers or employers to your accounts, make sure to practice Organizing People into Lists. That way you can customize privacy settings, visible content, and posting permissions on your accounts.
Take the time to protect your online reputation from harming your professional path!

On Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012, from 12PM to 1:15PM AmeriCorps Alums will conduct a webinar on the world of Human Resources (HR) and what the people who hire look for when hiring.  The HR Department serves as a gateway to job openings, and unlocking the gate can be a little easier if you are aware of how a HR departments operate.  AmeriCorps Alums will conduct an townhall webinar with alumni who work in the world of HR.
How will the webinar focus on AmeriCorps alumni?
Understanding how the world of HR works can give you an edge to get your first job or your dream job. By learning from those who currently work in HR, our goal is to help you plan an approach to maximize your interaction with HR departments.

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