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Alumni career builder

From M, fall 2005

Far from campus but looking for career connections? The new M Alumni Online can help. University of Minnesota Alumni Association (UMAA) members have access to a searchable database of fellow alumni, many of whom have agreed to be career contacts in their fields. Members can also search to find alumni employed at specific firms to help them get a leg up with potential employers. The online database also offers a professional career counseling service called ReadyMinds. Available at a discount to UMAA members, the service offers skill and interest assessments and "meetings" with a counselor, either by telephone or through a private online work space. ReadyMinds is also the only online service that partners with the National Board of Certified Counselors. Janet Pelto, a career counselor with the U's College of Continuing Education (CCE), says online career counseling offers several advantages. "First, it's 24/7. Anytime you have a question, you can send it off," Pelto says. "And geography is no issue--you don't have to be near a good counselor. Plus some people find the anonymity of online counseling to be safer. They're more willing to be forthcoming. While you do lose the nonverbal cues, good online counselors learn how to listen in other ways." CCE career services are also available at a discount to UMAA members, as are several other on-campus career resources. All alumni can confirm, modify, or suppress their own records on M Alumni Online, but only UMAA members can search and use other features. For more on M Alumni Online and other career services available to alumni association members, visit www.alumni.umn.edu or call 612-624-2323 or 800-862-5867.