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LIFE AFTER COLLEGE This experience proved invaluable when I was sitting across the table from potential employers. I have no doubt that the knowledge and skills gained from Life After College are the reasons I was able to secure a job as a management consultant for an energy company in Houston, Texas.” —Nathan Irby, Louisiana State ‘14



Bentley University National Study** • Millennials

are expected to make up the largest work force in the U.S. History.

• 61%

CNN Money


• Nearly

half of recent grads are making less than $25,000 per year.

• Nearly

80% are facing at least $10,000 in loans.

of business decisionmakers give colleges and universities a “C” or lower on preparing recent college grads for their first jobs.

• 53.6% of bachelor’s degree holders under the age of 25 were jobless or underemployed in 2012.



n the 2013-2014 academic year we held four programs reaching over 300 members, freshmen-seniors. You may be wondering why reaching undergraduates from each year in school is important.

Simply put, a diploma does not guarantee a job nor does it mean a college graduate is prepared to succeed professionally. Clearly there is a real crisis in higher education regarding career preparedness and Life After College provides a solution to the problem for our undergraduate brothers. Even though 300 men were reached this past year, over 14,000 of our members did not have access to this program. To help our brothers avoid becoming a part of these statistics, we need to continue expanding the reach and impact of Life After College.

the PROGRAM experience In fall 2011, a Professional Development Task Force was asked to examine how we can better prepare our young men for life after college. Their main priority was to provide guidance and oversight to a comprehensive program seeking to educate, train, develop, and prepare our members for post collegiate life. With that goal in mind, this group worked collaboratively to design a one-day program providing a hands-on professional development experience. Life After College exists to provide our brothers with the life skills and career insights for post collegiate success. On average, the undergraduate experience lasts four years, yet the personal and professional journey that our members will embark on after college will last decades. Thus, the Fraternity wants and needs to prepare our members for the lifetime journey ahead of them.

participants learn how to: • Develop and enhance their resumes • Create and refine their story in an interview with today’s employers • Establish their personal brand • Appropriately network through building relationships • Build a budget and plan for their future financially

life after college



hile planning and executing Life After College programs, there are key logistical factors that improve the experience of the attendees. The three main factors are: choosing cities that have a large density of chapters and alumni, selecting a date that aligns with chapter schedules, and using quality hotel venues. To increase and maximize participant attendance, working with chapters to find the best date for their schedules is of utmost importance. However, this can be an extremely challenging process. In the fall, we compete with fall breaks, homecoming weekends, recruitment, and football. In the spring, there are formals, Carlson Leadership Academies, philanthropies, spring break trips, and campus events such as Greek week. After compiling a list of these major events for our chapters and universities, we selected dates that worked for the majority of chapters in the targeted region. To ensure attendance we created the concept of the host chapter. The host chapter’s responsibilities were to help drive attendance by guaranteeing a certain number of attendees and working with our marketing team to create program awareness. The chapter president sent promotional emails to every chapter president in the area and led a social media campaign creating awareness of the event’s purpose and value. Since all Life After College programs



this year were one-day events, it was important that attendees’ travel to the program be as easy as possible. Having the program in a densely populated area allows us to maximize our attendance and recruit experienced faculty whose knowledge on the topics increases the value added for participants. Having alumni and volunteers involved is critical to each of our programs because of their ability to translate the SigEp experience in a professional context. Most collegiate career preparedness events happen on campus. To improve the experience for the participants and their perception of the event, we moved the program to similar sites as our Carlsons, which provides a professional backdrop and support our desired program outcomes. The 2013-2014 sessions varied slightly from program to program depending on the strengths of our faculty in the region. We customized our agenda based upon the faculty we recruited, as they each offered different expertise and experiences. Sessions included:

Enhancing and Developing Your Resume Need: Typically recruiters spend an average of six seconds looking at an individual resume. Impact: Participants learned how to

develop a polished resume and tips on fine-tuning it as well.

Interview Skills: Leave a Lasting Impression Need: With college graduation rates rising, the competition for jobs right out of school is increasing. Impact: Participants developed a framework to succeed in a variety of interviews and learned how to leave a positive impression on the employer.

Practice Makes Perfect - Table Manners 101 Need: When it comes to dining, more than one-third of all business deals, hiring decisions, promotions, and relationships are made at a restaurant. Impact: Participants walked away with an understanding of proper table manners for work, dating, and social life. This is an interactive session that allowed the participants to practice during lunch as they learned important new techniques.

Understanding Your Passion, Finding Your Purpose Need: Students are often unprepared for their first job because they don’t truly understand their passions and strengths.

Impact: Participants learned how to identify those and how they align with the important components of a career.

Utilizing the SigEp Network Need: There are up to 80% of job openings that aren’t advertised, according to the Wall Street Journal. During the recruitment process the phrases networking and lifetime connections get thrown around, but it is often empty rhetoric. Impact: Attendees learned how to access the SigEp network the appropriate way. Participants discussed the importance of building relationships and practiced how to leverage our network on social media and beyond.

Dressing for Objectives – Presented by Brooks Brothers Need: First impressions are formed within seven to seventeen seconds of meeting someone. According to Business Insider, 55% of a person’s opinion is determined by their physical appearance. Impact: We built a relationship with the top men’s retail company to ensure our men make the best first impression. Ron Ferguson, Brooks Brothers head concierge at the New York City flagship store, walked participants through

Understanding Personal FinancE Need: A recent Fidelity survey of 2013 college graduates shows the average student debt at $35,200. Impact: Participants understand and implement the tenets of budgeting, saving, and making sound financial decisions.

OUR REACH Bentley University also polled corporate recruiters on how prepared they believe college graduates are for their first jobs and 54% gave them a grade of “C” or less. Immediate post collegiate success requires the career planning process to be an integral part of one’s entire collegiate career starting freshmen year. Students often wait until their final year in school to prepare instead of growing professionally all four years. Consequently, our targeted audience for this event is all undergraduate members. When done right, SigEp can be the most meaningful experience of a young man’s time in college. We have a duty and opportunity to improve that experience by ensuring that our brothers obtain the best possible job and perform at a higher level than their peers.

How to Shop, Apply and Consider Graduate Schools Need: The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) 2013 Students Survey showed that 23.8% of students want to attend professional school and 10.3% are unsure of their future plans. Impact: Participants were given an overview of the graduate school admissions process and help in determining if it is the best option for them.




2013-2014 ATTENDANCE



a step-by-step process to help them create and improve their personal brand through professional dress.

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Originally, for 2013 – 2014, there were six programs slated to occur but two of our spring programs were cancelled. We learned that it is difficult to compete with other demands such as Carlson, spring break trips, chapter formals, and major campus events during the spring semester. Moving forward we will only plan programs for the fall semester, which will increase chapter attendance.

life after college


faculty engagement Regardless of how many men are in attendance, the program can’t be successful without the right people educating our brothers. Our philosophical approach to this process is to enlist talented facilitators that are experts in their field who can bring their experiences to participants. While students have career development resources on their campuses, we add value by bringing in alumni and volunteers that offer this education from a SigEp perspective. In total for the 2013 – 2014 academic year, we had 42 facilitators and 13% of them were not affiliated with the organization, and all had relevant experience in their field. Some notable facilitators from this year include:

impact Our facilitators impart critical knowledge on our participants and equip them with the necessary skills to get hired into the right job and excel personally and professionally following college. With more college students graduating without a job or being ready to enter the work force, Life After College has an impact on preparing our members for their lives beyond the classroom. Last academic year, we provided 316 undergraduates unparalleled career preparedness education. Our survey feedback captured a portion of this impact:

Matt Deimund, MBA candidates at Harvard Business School Owen McCarthy, MBA candidates at Harvard Business School

Ron Ferguson*, concierge for Brooks Brothers flagship store on Madison Avenue in NYC Colin Kelly, partner at Alston & Bird, LLP

Ash Kumra, co-founder of and recognized by the White House as one of the top 100 young entrepreneurs making an impact for America

86% of participants felt Life after college increased their understanding of the job search & how to utilize Sigep network

Billy Maddalon, managing owner for Unique Southern Estates Chris McCaw, Director, Supply Chain Services for Premier Healthcare Alliance

Christine Probett*, Assistant Dean for the College of Business Administration at San Diego State University Susan Amat*, Founder at Venture Hive Natalie Rojas*, Senior Recruiting Associate at BDO USA, LLP Peter Vareny, Senior Counsel at Lowe’s Companies, Inc

*Friend of SigEp



93% OF participants felt the event helped them prepare both personally & professionally for life after college

But survey statistics don’t tell the fully story…


his success has raised the bar and highlighted opportunities for improvement. After completing the 2013- 2014 programs, your feedback, survey results, anecdotes from participants, and feedback from staff who played integral roles in the program experience were processed and analyzed. Moving forward, we are focused on providing a transformative experience that focuses on breakout sessions tailored to the audience, one-on-one career coaching, and opportunities to practice networking. Major areas of improvement for this academic year include:

Creating two session tracks In order to target all undergraduates and meet their needs, the curriculum will be broken up into beginner and intermediate sessions. There will be two concurrent sessions for each topic; for example, the “Building Your Resume” session will focus

mainly on freshmen and sophomores who probably haven’t yet created a resume and the concurrent “Refining Your Resume” session will target upperclassmen who need help perfecting what they’ve already created.

Making the Event Two Days In looking at survey feedback, our facilitators and participants both wanted more time and to include more experiential learning in the sessions. Once we applied this feedback to the schedule and mapped out the sessions, it was necessary to make this a two-day event. The popularity and demand for this program is also increasing with more chapters and AVCs interested in being involved. To accommodate their requests, we extended the distance of chapters we’re slating to attend. With travel time now becoming more of a factor, making it an overnight program allows us to provide a more safe and positive experience.

“Life After College is an excellent program that

touches on a part of education that students seldom get in the classroom.” —Bryan Clark, UNC-Charlotte ‘12

Providing Career Coaches Based on our survey feedback, participants want more tailored guidance and an opportunity to connect with potential employers and volunteers working in their desired career field. We will add one-on-one career coaching which pairs alumni and undergraduates with similar interests. We will better utilize our membership database, local AVC connections and LinkedIn to engage and recruit additional alumni mentors to participate. During the registration process, participants will provide their career interests and we will use this information to match them up with an appropriate mentor for a 30 minute coaching session.

Career Fair

our programs will include a career fair featuring campus recruiters, volunteers and alumni representing their companies and industries. The idea of this session is to combine industry networking and a job fair. Each program will have at least 15 companies representing a wide variety of industries, including military branches, graduate schools, law firms and other companies with hiring capacity. This will give our participants an opportunity to get a jumpstart on the job search process and discover information about other potential career paths. They will also be able to apply the skills they just learned during the weekend. In addition to helping our undergraduates, this gives us an opportunity to engage alumni who may not have the time to volunteer directly with a chapter, but have a desire to connect with the Fraternity.

Participants enter this program in various stages of their professional development and with various career interests. To accommodate this,

“When it omes down to it, we attend college to make

connections and be successful in the work force. After [the Interview Skills: Leaving a Lasting Impression] session, I felt much more prepared for an official interview” —Buddy Hammon, San Diego State ‘15 life after college


Faculty Recruitment

Marketing Strategy

In the past, between six and ten facilitators were needed to staff a successful program. Now that it is a two-day event, an increased number of faculty will be needed at each program. Approximately 40 people will serve on the faculty and will represent a variety of fields including, but not limited to: human resources, finance and accounting, marketing and advertising, architecture and engineering, education, law & government, information & technology, and consulting and sales.

Because Life After College is SigEp’s newest leadership event, its greatest threat is also its biggest opportunity – brand awareness. We have created a promotional video that highlights the benefits of the program. In addition to the video, we have also created an educational survey that is being sent to each undergraduate slated to attend a program. This survey will ask a series of career preparedness related questions to shed light on the importance of post collegiate planning and how Life After College can help. We are also working more closely with key chapter and AVC officers to get buyin and guarantee attendance for each chapter.

In order to recruit a diverse and comprehensive team, we will work closely with our AVCs in the area and utilize LinkedIn to identify potential faculty that have professional expertise that applies to each session. Another avenue we’re exploring is corporate partnerships, similar to the relationship we have with Brooks Brothers. We are targeting companies with campus recruiting strategies to participate in our career fair and facilitate sessions.



As a key stakeholder, your feedback has driven the evolution and success of this program. You’ve inspired new ideas and provided staff the resolve and determination to continually enhance the Life After College experience.

the long term vision Although Life After College has grown and developed tremendously since its inception, we believe we are only scratching the surface when it comes to the programs full potential. On average we graduate 3,000 seniors each year… and this number is increasing every year. Imagine a majority of those seniors accepting offers in their fall semester to fortune 500 companies, tech start-ups, high ranking graduate programs, premiere non-profits, and top notch arts and entertainment companies. Not only will those men enter high caliber organizations of their choosing, but they will also attribute their employment to SigEp. The changes to the program for this academic year are just the beginning. Being the newest event in our leadership continuum, the opportunities are endless. The long term vision for Life After College is to increase the program’s impact on all participants and expand our reach to ensure that more SigEp’s have access to this life altering opportunity. The impact and success of the program will be measured in two ways: a higher employment rate than our host institutions and how prepared our members are to make an impact as a new hire. Long term improvements would include:

Educational tracks for all 4 years

Personal Career Coach

Corporate Partnerships

• Tracks matching each year in school to provide necessary and relevant training.

• We will match up each participant with a 1 on 1 career coach to provide tailored support and help them progress in their career journey after leaving the program.

• Companies will be involved with facilitation, financially sponsoring sessions, and participating in the career fair providing an opportunity to recruit our top talent.

• In addition to the career coach, we will have one-on-one resume reviews and mock interviews with HR professionals.

• As a result of these partnerships, companies will be more likely to recruit our men over any other student organization.

• The first two tracks will address building a professional foundation covering exploration of career interests. The final two tracks will offer advanced training that allow participants to practice and implement the techniques they have developed from the program. • With completion of the program, there will be a certificate from the training that will indicate to potential employers and our corporate partners that a student is prepared for his first job.

• With increased financial support and partnership presence, the production value will improve. There will be designated areas for labs to improve resumes and LinkedIn profiles, along with a pop-up store equipped with professional attire.

While these improvements will be game-changing, without expanding our reach, our impact will be limited. We will increase by: • Having a Life After College in every major metropolitan area. • Providing tracks for all years in school. • Including a track for alumni that offers relevant content empowering them to continue their career development process.

life after college


CLOSING Because of you, the future of Life After College is bright. We will not rest until Life After College represents the premiere career development experience in the country.

not only have an opportunity, but a responsibility, to ensure more members receive this important experience. We ask you to continue to support this program by volunteering and donating:

have feedback on how we can enhance the Life After college experience please contact the Career Preparedness Director, Sheehan Walker at:

Thank you for all you have done and will continue to do for Life After College. No matter how great the philosophy and plan for the program, we would not be successful without the people, like you, who support it.

There are several volunteer roles for each program, including: facilitating a breakout session, serving as a career coach, and representing your company at the career fair.

If you would like to donate to the program so we can continue to grow towards our long term vision and expand our reach, please contact the Director of Advancement, Matt Parrish at:

But this is only the beginning. We



If you’re interested in learning more about volunteering opportunities or

We truly believe, with your help, we can provide a transformative experience to ensure our undergraduates are prepared to reach their full personal and professional potential upon graduation.



provide feedback

SigEp Stakeholders Report: Life After College 2013-14  
SigEp Stakeholders Report: Life After College 2013-14