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Matching Gift Received to Boost Support for Career Exposure Programs

December 3, 2021

On Giving Tuesday, James Madison College launched a campaign to provide scholarship dollars for students to participate in the 2022 JMC Career Expsoure Program. The annual Career Exposure Program, led by JMC Career Consultant Karissa Chabot-Purchase and JMC Field Experience Coordinator Max Olivero, gives current students a chance to meet with alumni in various industires to familiarize them with the different routes available post-graduation, as well as help build a professional network. These types of programs are one of the reasons why JMC has the highest placement rate at MSU. Madison alumni sharing their professional stories and how they are connected to their Madison education is a mainstay for Career Services. The Spring 2022 program will take students to Los Angeles and San Francisco for meetings with west coast alumni.

Thus far, the campaign has raised $3,300 and will continue to accept donations throughout the rest of the year. To help support our ability to offer student scholarships, please consider making a donation HERE. Gifts made in December will be matched one to one by an anonymous donor until a $3,000 challenge is met. Your generosity will support future Madison alumni as they explore possibilities beyond Case Hall.

The value of interactions with Madison alumni is captured in the quotes below from students who attended the New York City Career Exposure Program in early 2020.

“The Career Exposure Program is essential for opening the eyes of students to the truly vast range of opportunities available to them and illustrating exactly how the skills one learns in class translate to real-world careers. Prior to this program, I think I struggled to envision just how what I was learning would translate to the workforce, and I wasn’t sure that what I was learning would eventually help me find a job—let alone one that I wanted. Now, I know that I can apply skills I learn in the classroom to any career that I want, and because of the program, I have a better idea of the careers I am interested in and, just as importantly, the ones that I am not.”

“It helped me to see that with JMC, I can go in nearly any direction.  I loved seeing alumni in all sorts of places. We learn all sorts of things in class, but it was great to see our alumni actually at work in their fields.”

“From speaking with the alumni, I found that critical thinking is a JMC skill that will allow me to thrive in career spaces from technology and law to diplomacy and even publishing. This trip allowed me to narrow down fields that I want to explore such as technology/sales (at Google) and publishing (at HarperCollins). I’ve been able to realize that the typical career paths Madisonians pursue are not fit for me, but there are still many fields where I can thrive. Now, I have a greater understanding of what I want to accomplish during my time at MSU and where I want to be when I graduate.”

Career Exploration Programs are one reason why JMC has the highest placement rate on campus. Madison alumni and the college care about each student, hearing their goals and interest, and helping them build a professional network. The next program hopes to bring students to Los Angeles and San Francisco for meetings with west coast alumni. If you would like to support student scholarships to attend, please make your gift, here.

“The NYC program was influential to my professional and personal development because until this point, I hadn’t been considering possible internships and jobs in the future, but this program made me start to think seriously about my future. I was also unsure about what I could do with my Madison degree, and the alumni were able to ease my worries because I saw the wide variety of opportunities that a Madison degree offers.  Going to New York was not only a great experience because I got to go to a new city, but also because I was able to see, in a way that I never have, what careers and businesses look like and how they operate.” 

“Where to start! Above all, I really learned how vital connecting with important contacts is when looking for professional opportunities. For a long time I was very nervous about engaging and networking, but this program helped me overcome those anxieties and now I am much more comfortable entering that arena. I have been to NYC several times before, but I have never in my life had such a great experience. I hope that this opportunity continues for generations of Madison students to come.”

“This program gave me a purpose for studying in JMC and at MSU. As a freshman, I spent all fall semester unsure of what I wanted to study, and why.  I even started to consider transferring schools because I wasn’t sure what I could do with my degree in SRP and I wasn’t sure if MSU was a good fit. However, the Career Exposure Program has given me a lot of insight about the unique curriculum JMC has to offer. I was able to use this experience to expand my professional network, which sets me apart from my peers. This experience was far superior to the other career exploration and networking events I’ve experienced on campus.”

To learn more about the Career Exposure Programs visit the Campaign Website or contact Karissa Chabot-Purchase, JMC Career Consultant, and Max Olivero, JMC Field Experience Coordinator.

For more information about making a gift, including a matching gift challenge, please contact Rocky Beckett at beckettr@msu.edu or (517) 432-2117.