Career Services organizes student-alumni network

A new Career Services program designed to connect students with alumni mentors will debut in January, after staff members promote the database’s growth.

Bridget Bowers, director of Career Services, said the new program is a “mentor database with alumni, employers and friends of Villanova.” The office is introducing it to help students boost networking and knowledge about various career possibilities.

Beginning next semester, all students will be able to access NovaNet through their Experience Accounts, the University’s web-based program used for career networking and recruitment. The Career Services staff hopes to create a stable database of mentors before allowing students to access the program. Currently, the mentor database contains just under 100 mentors in a variety of career fields.

“We wanted to make the database as diverse as possible,” said Bowers. “It provides students with an automatic pool of people to draw information from.”

Once students log on, they will have access to the mentors in their field. The participants are able to choose the method of communication they prefer: e-mail, telephone or person-to-person.

Bowers believes NovaNet will be helpful in teaching students how to network. Bowers emphasized that the network “is not a database of people looking to hire,” but rather intended to help students make connections that could lead to more connections in their field.

Because the mentors volunteer to be a part of this database, students should not feel intimidated to contact mentors at any time, Bowers explained. The database will help to “eliminate some fear,” Bowers said.

Mentor Database programs are becoming popular in all parts of the country. Career Services researched colleges comparable to the University before setting up this database.

“It’s something we can kind of grow into,” said Bowers. “I’m pretty excited about it.”