Elevate Your Career in the New Year

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UConn Foundation

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By Grace Merritt | 2.5 minute read

Starting in January, UConn will hold a national series of career workshops to help alums, family, and friends take their careers to the next level. The Elevate career series will give them exclusive access inside companies like Expedia and iHeartMedia and a chance to connect with top executives who work there as well as career and industry experts.

UConn alums will host more than 14 Elevate panels from California to Florida and Colorado to Hartford, giving alums, friends, and family valuable insights into their own career paths and providing an unbeatable opportunity to network with company employees based on their region.

Some workshops will focus on specific skill sets, such as how to write a more strategic résumé, understanding the new business etiquette, or how to navigate tax laws in retirement. In some cases, presenters will bring HR recruiters so participants can establish a connection within the company.

The Elevate program launched last year across UConn Nation to great success. The workshops attracted a wide range of alums aged 22 to 80. The average class year was 2004.

“This is a service that alums need at every age,” said Montique Cotton Kelly, vice president of alumni relations.

iHeartMedia, a global media and entertainment company, will hold one of the first workshops this year on Jan. 9 in its Manhattan office. Jon Pedersen ’93 (BUS) will discuss how he navigated his career from an accounting undergrad at UConn to iHeartMedia’s senior vice president and CFO for markets, sales and shared services.

Pedersen said he hopes to encourage UConn alums to wear the UConn brand with pride and to never set artificial limits on themselves.

“Events like this build relationships. It makes all the difference in the world,” Pedersen said. “You get people to understand that, look, I was in your shoes 20 years ago. I never thought I could do this. But with hard work and that UConn degree, you can go far.”

with hard work and that UConn degree, you can go far.

Photos from the UConn Alumni Elevate event at Google Headquarters Tuesday, February 27, 2018 in New York City. (G.J. McCarthy / UConn Foundation)Liz James ’08 (BUS), global head of YouTube Unskippable at Google, Inc., hosted a workshop at Google’s New York office last year. She said the workshop gives people the chance to connect, get inspired, and learn more about the industry.

“It’s really the power of the network,” she said. “There are a lot of people in New York City and the greater New York area who are UConn alums. They may not know each other, but you never know where that great conversation with a fellow UConn alum will lead.”

The series wraps up Jan. 31 in downtown Hartford with a workshop featuring three entrepreneurs, Ray Pineault ’88 (CLAS), president of Mohegan Sun, and David Schmid ’92 (ENG), chief investment officer of ProPark America and Rohan Freeman ’95 (ENG), president and CEO of Freeman Companies, a civil engineering and geotechnical services firm. Each will bring a recruiter with them connect with potential job candidates. The Elevate series is subsidized in part by The Cavanaugh Family Alumni Career Services Fund.

“Thanks to Dennis and JoAnne Cavanaugh for believing in alumni career opportunities,” Cotton Kelly said.

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