A Powerful Alliance
by Brenda Bolinger
“We do a happy dance and offer high fives when they have good news for us,” says CP&R Executive Director Vicki Klopsch.
By the time graduation arrives, CP&R staff knows the majority of students very well, having launched relationships by meeting with about 90 percent of first-year students within their first three weeks at Scripps.
“That starts the conversation and gives CP&R the chance to grow with them,” Klopsch says. CP&R continues to serve as students’ advocates and allies, offering a full range of services and resources available to alumnae for one year after graduation. The work of CP&R focuses on developing genuine relationships with students and alumnae, the goals of each individual the driving force behind the office’s overall mission and daily activity.
“We ensure we remain flexible, and everything we do — from drop-in counseling to programs and panels — falls in sync with what students are interested in,” Klopsch says.
In this spirit, the counseling and services provided by CP&R aren’t exclusively about job readiness — while 50 percent of new graduates are on a full-time career track, others pursue a variety of experiences, including graduate school, fellowships, service, and gap years.
Along with individual counseling, an outpouring of resources is available to students, including job search coaching, professional networking opportunities, industry expert panels, and access to online job-search engines.
The CP&R team, comprised of Klopsch, three career counselors, and an employer engagement coordinator, is enthusiastic and bonded in their mutual goal to provide exceptional and individualized service. Klopsch estimates that their team organizes 50 to 60 events during a given year, accomplished with generous assistance from the Scripps community.
Developing and strengthening this community is essential to the work of CP&R, whose work in creating relevant connections has been augmented by a restructuring that placed them within Institutional Advancement (IA).
The fundraising arm of the College, IA is the department most directly involved in forging relationships with those who believe in the mission, values, and people of Scripps. As such, with parallel perspectives on the value of meaningful connections, CP&R’s transition into IA has been positive, smooth, and beneficial.
“Alumnae, parents, and friends of the College ask us about the career and life preparation of our students more than ever before,” says Michael P. Archibald, vice president of Institutional Advancement. “These individuals are well placed in their careers and communities and are eager to help our graduates navigate their next steps. That’s why we brought CP&R and IA together — to bring the network closer to the students and vice versa.”
“Our alignment with Advancement makes sense; fundamentally, it’s such a natural fit,” Klopsch says. “This will help move us to the next level in creating more definitive advocates and help the College build enduring relationships in a more strategic way.”
And what, according to Klopsch, is the number one reason why students and alumnae should get to know CP&R and its resources?
“They don’t have to do it alone. It’s hard. All of it. We’re here to help.”
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