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Alumni Share Career Advice

Lewis & Clark students struggling with what to do with their lives have a vast resource ready at hand—roughly 20,000 undergraduate alumni who have already (at least in most cases) figured it out for themselves.

One of the most active alumni networkers is Dana Plautz B.S. ’82, who served on Lewis & Clark’s Board of Alumni and now serves on the Parents’ Council. She helped create Careers for Pioneers, a program that brings alumni to campus twice a year to network with interested students. She also was involved in starting the Alumni Career Corps, a group of about a dozen alumni who come to campus twice a month to mentor students. “It gives them a chance to ask alumni, ‘How did you wind up doing what you’re doing?’” says Plautz, a former high-tech and entertainment industry executive.

Another new resource is L&C Net, part of LinkedIn, the professional networking website. L&C Net provides a network forum to connect students with alumni who have agreed to be available for career networking. Started last year, the initiative has proved popular and has exceeded expectations with some 1,500 alumni and current students. Those who join L&C Net have access to a database of members, so students can search according to career field or geographic location. Some alumni have even posted jobs and internship openings.

Alumni enjoy the opportunity to give back to Lewis & Clark and its current students, says Andrew McPheeters, director of alumni and parent programs. “I think they can see themselves in the students,” he adds. “Alumni are often wanting to help in some way—and an excellent gift is to open up their career network to someone starting out.”

To sign up for L&C Net, you must first sign up for LinkedIn, then join the group called Lewis & Clark College Career Network (L&C Net).

The Chronicle Magazine

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