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Let's Talk Business: Giving Back with More than Money

Portrait of Jessica Stidham

Photo of the WVU John Chambers School of Business & Economics

This fall will mark the start of my seventeenth year working in the career service arena at WVU, and as I write this, I feel like that must be a typo!

But as the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun – and I can’t think of a better way to kick off each academic year than building connections between our students, alumni and employers. 

Over the years, I’ve witnessed seismic shifts in student expectations, workforce demands and economic climates. My team in the Chambers College's Center for Career Development constantly adapts our career programming in response to evolving employer recruitment strategies.  

Yet, through all this, one thing has remained constant: the immeasurable impact that our alumni have on our students' success.

I've seen firsthand how a single conversation with an alum like Scott Branham can alter the trajectory of a student's career. The Center for Career Development (CCD), and the Chambers College as a whole, are better because our alumni support us, push us to improve and help ensure that our graduates have the required skills and experiences to succeed in a rapidly changing workplace.

So how can you, our alumni and friends, get involved? 

If you are of the tl;dr mindset, here’s a bulleted list for you: 

  • Help students tailor their resumes and interviewing skills to specific industries 

  • Mentor and provide career coaching to students and alumni 

  • Advocate for your employer to actively recruit at WVU 

  • Host student groups at your employer for industry excursion trips 

  • Attend regional networking events to help students refine their networking skills and make business connections with fellow alumni 

  • Visit campus to meet with faculty, deliver technical talks, and host programming for student organizations 

  • Support strategic programs that help our students compete on a national level, such as the Gloria Jean Rosenthal Career Closet, the Internship Access Fund, and the Experiential Learning and Industry Trip Fund 

  • And many more – let’s schedule a discovery call to discuss options! 

Job Search Fundamentals 
You can empower students to present themselves confidently and professionally by providing industry-specific guidance on resumes, interviewing skills and strategies to break into competitive industries. 

Career Coaching and Mentorship 
Mentoring and providing career coaching to students and alumni is crucial. Your guidance helps them navigate the complexities of their academic majors and target industries as well as develop the skills necessary to thrive in the workplace.

Technical Talks 
You can share your expertise and industry knowledge through technical talks, career pathway panels and presentations to student organizations. By sharing emerging trends, discussing real-world examples and providing practical advice, you can bring their coursework to life, bridging the gap between theory and practice. 

Ensuring Students Can Compete on a National Level 
Programs like the Gloria Jean Rosenthal Career Closet, the Internship Access Fund and industry exposure trips ensure that students have the resources to say “Yes!” to an internship, and opportunities to gain firsthand industry experience. By investing in these programs, you help students pursue their dreams and compete at a national level. 

Please email me at to learn how we can partner. On behalf of the Chambers College, we can’t wait to connect with you! 

Sarah Glenn
Director of the Center for Career Development