On a recent Thursday night, over 100 Boston Prep juniors, seniors, and alumni spent two hours in deep conversation with 45 Boston area professionals, who volunteered their time to share their experiences and advice. The multifaceted event was designed to help Boston Prep students and alumni learn more about various career fields, gain practical skills, and build their professional networks.
The evening began with a shared meal, over which professionals had the opportunity to learn about Boston Prep from both Executive Director Sharon Liszanckie and two alumni. Following dinner, students and alumni had the opportunity to attend two of eight workshops focused on various career fields (from engineering to human services and more) as well as practical skills (such as how to network and market yourself). In these 30 minute discussions, professionals shared their background and answered questions student questions, which ranged from future job prospects to gender dynamics to how to position oneself to stand out in the applicant pool.
Following the two workshop sessions, professionals, students, and alumni gathered in the school's open space for an authentic networking session. Students had the opportunity to engage personally with passionate, successful professionals in the fields they hope to enter one day. Countless connections were made, and many were forced, against their wishes, to cut short their conversations with one another at the end of the evening.
The professionals who participated appreciated the opportunity to share their experience with interested, engaged students. In the words of one professional, "I really enjoyed meeting the students, and I was so impressed by them. They are all so engaged and excited about their future careers. I know this enthusiasm stems from their teachers and mentors at Boston Prep. I spoke with several students after the event, and they asked me for my email, which I very gladly gave, so I hope I can continue to stay in touch." Students and alumni, too, were excited about the connections they made. One alumna noted, "I gave my resume to four different people, including one who works at the graduate school where I will soon be applying. I am so grateful to have been able to meet so many people who can help me along my path in one night!"
We are deeply grateful to all the professionals who volunteered their time to meet with our students and alumni - many of whom have since extended further offers to support students, through internships and more - for their generosity of spirit. While there is much we can do, the support of volunteers such as these are critical in helping us truly prepare our students for success in college and beyond.
If you are interested in volunteering your time to participate in a future Professional Networking Event at Boston Prep, please email Danielle Pape, Director of Grants and Communications.