What do you want to be when you grow up? Banker, physician, college professor? Adventurous, self-reliant, creative? The Go Anywhere Initiative, a partnership between Honors Carolina and University Career Services, helps students explore not only what they want to do, but who they want to be — to discover a life well-lived.
“Go Anywhere helps students develop the translational skills to connect what they’re learning in a wide-ranging arts and sciences curriculum to the work they aspire to do and the life they aspire to live,” said Jim Leloudis, associate dean for Honors Carolina and director of the James M. Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence. “It’s about helping them navigate a more intentional path through Carolina to connect with their futures.”
The concept for Go Anywhere grew out of the Honors Carolina strategic plan and was reinforced by findings of a faculty working group charged by College of Arts and Sciences Dean Karen Gil and led by Leloudis. Across campus, O. Ray Angle, director of University Career Services, was earning national recognition for his innovative approach to career services. Leloudis and Angle met to discuss partnership opportunities, and Go Anywhere emerged as a best practice. The initiative will officially debut in fall 2015 and offer a first-year-to-senior developmental arc.
“We’re creating a culture of career development on campus,” Angle said. “The partnership and our service delivery all flow from a core mission to help students clarify and attain their career goals with skills that last a lifetime.”
Pre-launch programs are underway. Shandol Hoover, associate director for student development and special projects for Honors Carolina, organizes alumni dinners, coffees, workshops and career boot camps to connect students to distinguished alumni in a variety of career fields. Two new staff members — Honors Carolina advising and career guides — will be supported 50/50 through the campus partnership.
Kristin Irish MBA ’94, a member of the Honors Carolina external advisory board, former head of campus recruiting at UBS Investment Bank and relationship manager in the career office at Yale University, was an early architect of the partnership and serves on the career guides search committee.
“At Yale, the relationship managers had real-world work experience,” she said. “It really resonates with students when the people mentoring them have been where they want to go. That’s what we’re trying to do with our Honors Carolina career guides.”
Loyal Wilson ’70, founder and advising director of Primus Capital Partners and a member of the Honors Carolina external advisory board, and his wife, Margaret, made a generous contribution to support the career guides’ positions. As Carolina parents, they see the initiative’s potential firsthand.
“Students going to college have aspirations for their lives,” Loyal Wilson said. “They believe that if they do well in college, they will do better in life. This program will help them connect the dots between the classroom and their aspirations. I want to see Go Anywhere grow, gain traction and benefit all students across the university so that when we bring students in as first-year students, they leave not only with a broad liberal arts perspective, but with a direction that helps them prosper.”
Diana Dayal, a junior biology major from Apex and co-president of the Honors Carolina student board, is already benefiting. Through Go Anywhere, the pre-med student shadowed a UNC Hospitals physician on his daily rounds. It changed her perspective. “More than learning about physiology or bioethics, I saw that being a doctor is about connecting with patients,” she said. “That’s something you can’t always learn in a classroom.”
By Chrys Bullard ’76