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Students can celebrate and publicize their new internships and postgraduate plans in an innovative way.

Whiteboard Campaign Celebrates Success

The students’ smiles were as bright as the multi-colored balloons surrounding them. Grabbing markers, they scrawled messages on whiteboards, then posed for the camera. Their notes were different, but all proclaimed success: Just Hired By: Boys & Girls Club. Accepted to Grad School at: Boston College STM. I Landed the Internship at: Bellin Health. Doing Post Grad Service at: Jesuit Volunteer Corps. 

During the gala, the students enjoyed cookies, coffee and hot chocolate. Those who’d already snagged a job, got into grad school, entered the military or opted for post-graduation service work received a St. Norbert keychain, while students celebrating an internship received an “I’m an Intern” button. Later, the good news was spread via Twitter, LinkedIn and the St. Norbert College Career & Professional Development Facebook page.

St. Norbert’s inaugural “whiteboard campaign,” held last spring, is an innovative way to cheer student successes, says MaryEllen Olson, director of Career & Professional Development. “We’re celebrating all of the hard work we know the students are putting in, plus who they are as people and how they’re all uniquely made.”

Career & Professional Development planned the event, not knowing if students would be receptive. They were. Olson estimates well over 100 stopped in at the Mulva Library to have their achievements publicized. “They loved sharing their photos with family and friends,” says Olson. “This is a selfie generation. It was fun for them to do.”

In addition to congratulating students, the campaign is a way to publicly acknowledge and thank the businesses that hire them for jobs and internships. It’s also a means of putting the spotlight on interning. Students should have two or three internships by the time they graduate in order to be competitive in the job market, Olson says. Learning where others are interning is helpful, as it may give students ideas for internship possibilities of their own. And, says Olson, celebrating partnerships between SNC and various employers can strengthen existing relationships and result in new alliances being formed, which benefits everyone.

Career & Professional Development will hold another whiteboard campaign next spring. The office is also considering a fall campaign for students graduating mid-year.

Aug. 16, 2018