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Alumni associations offer career services

Posted May 19, 2009

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— With more people finding themselves out of work, many of them are going back to their roots to find a new job. Alumni associations at some universities offer career services to help workers find a new job or start over again.

Former grads turn to alumni for job help Former grads turn to alumni for job help

Even with 12 years experience as a freelance medical editor, Kathy Heiser says times sure are tough and her clients are feeling it.

“They're cutting the budget and they just don't use editors the way they used to,” Heiser said.

With job prospects bleak, Heiser decided it was time to reinvent herself. So, she contacted the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Alumni Association.

“As I see my role, it's helping them to make sense of this. There are things that people can do,” said Linda Conklin, with the UNC Alumni Association.

Conklin helps members of UNC's alumni association find work, or prepare themselves to job search.

“You have to decide for yourself what works for you, too,” Conklin said.

She is helping Heiser capitalize on her nursing degree by trying to find work as a freelance caregiver

“It's given me a new way to go to do something that I love, and I love the one-on-one contact with the patients that I had before,” Heiser said.

Heiser's not alone. Across the nation, more alumni are turning to their alma mater for help during a troubled job market.

Sue Simonds with North Carolina State University's Alumni Association says she is seeing an increase in clients.

“We also have people who are thinking about Plan B, thinking about what if I got laid off? Is my resume as good as it could be?" Simonds said.

UNC and N.C. State stress you don't have to be a graduate of the universities to join the alumni associations.

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