Connections Far and Wide
The value of a Jesuit education is touted continually during students’ four years at Gonzaga. But what about after graduation?
A newly-reorganized program through Career & Professional Development is expanding those Jesuit values to the professional sphere. “Unofficially, the idea of offering reciprocal services at Jesuit schools has always been there, but we’ve updated the documentation to make it more clear what institutions are willing to do,” says Ray Angle, the assistant vice president at CPD.
Reciprocity, as it is known, allows alumni from sister Jesuit schools across the country to use career-searching services at universities that are not their alma mater. Some schools offer more services than others, and much is dependent on where the universities are and if there is high demand for jobs. The service allows alumni to seek employment counseling in any of the 28 U.S. cities that are home to Jesuit colleges, providing a wealth of new options.
The service was especially helpful for Grace Gutierrez, a 2009 graduate of the School of Leadership Studies, who was struggling to find a job following a massive company lay-off. Discouraged, she reached out to Angle, who organized a meeting at Regis University’s career center in Denver, where she had recently relocated with her previous employer. She worked with Katie McCue, an employee there, who helped Gutierrez with her resume and a networking plan. Within 10 days, she was offered the job of her dreams, coaching principals and teachers through the lens of equity around the Colorado and New Mexico area.
Gutierrez wrote a letter of thanks to Angle, describing her gratitude to the reciprocal help she received at both Gonzaga and Regis. She wrote, “To quote something from Gonzaga’s web page: ‘The real measure of our Jesuit universities lies in who our students become.’ I will continue to tell my story of how two Jesuit institutions worked together to assist me… and I will continue to strive to become a person in service of others through my job and in my personal life.”
The reciprocal program established by Gonzaga’s sister institutions is helping alumni like Gutierrez make career connections across the Jesuit network.
Learn more about reciprocity here.