The School of Diplomacy's Director of Professional Services, Kyle Younger, co-presented a workshop at the Alumni Career Services Network (ACSN) annual conference with Diplomacy alumna, Ana Kolodzinski, on Monday, July 22, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
The presentation, "Advocating, Advising and Coaching Diverse Alumni Populations for Career Transitions," looked at the unique challenges for inclusion and career identity development. Recognizing that professional identity and personal definitions for a meaningful career are shaped by lived experiences, alumni from diverse backgrounds require informed advising that emphasizes their unique values. Also discussed were characteristic career issues for specific populations as well as professional competencies and best practices for advising alumni.
"When diversity initiatives are discussed," says Younger, "there is a tendency to focus on our commonalities instead of appreciating and valuing our differences…of course diversity includes gender, race, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual preferences, and our different abilities. But it can also be present as a person who is transitioning from a previous career identity to another due to some unexpected or expected life event that often affects alumni."
To foster a safe space where questions and concerns could be voiced and addressed, Younger and Kolodzinski guided participants through discussions on diversity, equity and inclusion that helped them to reflect on their experiences and assumptions in providing career support to diverse alumni populations. "Context is everything," says Younger. "Therefore, recognizing that our experiences are likely different from those of our alumni population is key in becoming a critically reflective career practitioner."
The ACSN annual conference, held at the historic Mayflower Hotel, featured three days of workshops and learning experiences geared towards employers and career development practitioners who support the development of alumni career services.
The goal of the conference was to provide professional development and networking for alumni career services professionals that would inspire innovation and influence ingenuity in institutions of higher education, from direct alumni career coaching to alumni engagement and programming.
As Director of Professional Services in the School of Diplomacy, Kyle Younger provides professional development opportunities to current students and alumni through programs including career services, academic advising, employment development and other avenues of support. He is a doctoral candidate in Seton Hall's College of Education and Human Services where his research interests focus on college-to-career transitions and critical race theory, particularly in the career development of African American males in predominantly white institutions.
Diplomacy alumna, Ana Kolodzinski, currently works with diplomatic spouses with the U.S. Department of State. In her role, she teaches clients and hiring managers about unconscious bias awareness and diversity hiring practices. Previously, she served as the Community Liaison Officer in Bucharest, Romania, where she founded and managed a career development organization providing employment opportunities for the spouses and partners of expats and diplomats. Ana earned dual master's degrees in Corporate and Public Communications and International Relations from Seton Hall University.
"It was an honor," said Kolodzinski, "to partner with my alma mater and share my experience working in diversity, inclusion and career development. The session led to a wonderful discussion on today's diverse workforce and ways to leverage employers' diversity initiatives."
Director Younger encourages students and alumni from the School of Diplomacy and International Relations to contact him for career advising and discussions about professional development at Kyle.Younger@shu.edu.
Categories: Nation and World