For those of us who have not only graduated from Biola but have also sent our children through the school, we know how great an influence our faculty and staff can have on the growth of skills and knowledge in our students.
And while many schools can prepare students for a career and provide the technical skills to succeed in the boardroom, classroom or emergency room, far fewer can also prepare students to succeed with the integration of faith and learning — giving students the knowledge of how Scripture says we should perform our business as ministry. In this arena, Biola shines. There is no doubt about it: Biola’s faculty members, in all academic programs, are experts at preparing competent and courageous graduates who serve with excellence in their careers.
However, one of the great challenges for all of higher education is taking that great preparation that happens in students’ minds and character, and ensuring that it results in actual success in the marketplace. When parents are asked, “What one thing will make the cost of education a good value after the graduation of your child?” the number one answer is “hirability!” Will my child be able to find work after they graduate? And not just a job, but a good job and career?
With this in mind, Biola is launching a renewed effort to partner graduates with current students through mentorships and career networking; we want to be even more successful at giving students an advantage in the career search. The University’s Student Alumni Association has long been a program designed to serve the needs of students while they attend Biola and begin to get them used to a partnership with the alumni office. Now we want to take that program a step further and get them used to a strategic alliance with the graduates of the university. We are seeking to match current students in the Student Alumni Association with graduates in their same field of study, to provide advice, wisdom and direction as they graduate.
When you think of schools with the best networks, you think of schools where graduates can gain advice and career direction from alumni — helping them to get placements, avoid pitfalls and learn from experience. That’s what we are planning for students, and what we hope you will do with us.
There will be plenty of opportunities that fit your schedule and interests. If you would like a one-on-one mentorship we will help match you up; if you want to serve on an alumni panel, we will use you as a resource; or if your schedule only allows for a short conversation with student candidates in your place of employment, we will help make that happen. But we know this can radically change the lives of graduating students … and yours as well!
If you are interested in knowing more about the mentorship and networking program, go to biola.edu/alumni and check out the “Mentor Programs” section. For together, we are Alumni for Life!