As a management major, Ray Wei ’22 was looking for a valuable way to gain real-world experience in his field while continuing his studies at Clark. He found the perfect fit through ClarkCONNECT, which linked him with Clark trustee Roy DiNicola ’90 for an investment management sales lead qualification project at GMO this semester.
Wei is assisting the investment and asset management firm’s business development team by researching financial advisory teams across the country and using Excel to collect and catalog information. DiNicola, who is GMO’s Northeast team leader in Global Client Relationships, posted the short-term project on ClarkCONNECT — the University’s online mentorship and alumni networking platform.
“The project gives me the motivation to work, insight into the financial industry, and flexibility,” Wei says. “The time commitment is perfect for a student’s schedule, and the many skills I’ve learned in the classroom can be transferred into the real world.”
Wei’s is one of six ClarkCONNECT Projects that have been posted since January 2021 that link students with flexible, remote work assignments during the academic year. We spoke with Rosie Gallant, director of employer engagement at Clark’s Career Connections Center, to learn more:
What are ClarkCONNECT Projects?
ClarkCONNECT Projects are virtual, short-term experiences that provide Clark students the opportunity to make quick income, build their resumes, test-drive their skills, and create meaningful connections with alumni and others in the Clark community. The short-term nature of these projects allows students to balance academics and other work-life priorities while expanding their network and exploring potential career paths.
How do projects differ from internships, and what should students keep in mind when deciding which opportunity to pursue?
Projects are short term (20 to 40 hours) and are sponsored by an organization, alumnus, or a member of the ClarkCONNECT community with a specific goal in mind. Some examples have been public relations and media research for an author, grants research for a small nonprofit, and sales lead qualification for an investment management firm. Internships on the ClarkCONNECT platform are posted by alumni who either want to hire a Clark student at their place of work, or can refer a Clark student to their organization. Internships provide students the opportunity to work with organizations and mentors for a longer stretch.
What other connections can students make on ClarkCONNECT?
ClarkCONNECT is an easy-to-use platform that connects Clark students, alumni, faculty, and families in a virtual community. From these connections, students can find a mentor, apply to jobs, internships, and ClarkCONNECT Projects, explore research collaborations, learn about an industry, and get advice from professionals in their fields of interest. Here is a quick video on five ways that students can use ClarkCONNECT.
How should students prepare before applying for a project or internship?
Before applying to any opportunity on ClarkCONNECT or Handshake, students should have their resume reviewed by the Career Lab by uploading their documents to their Handshake profile and waiting one to three days for expert feedback. It always helps to have someone else’s perspective on your materials before sending in an application.
ClarkCONNECT is also an engaged community, and the alumni on the platform are already a part of your network. If a student applies to an opportunity on the platform, it’s always a great idea to follow up with the person who posted the position to express interest and excitement about the opportunity. The Career Connections Center has several message templates to help students make a new connection.
How can members of the Clark community offer and post a ClarkCONNECT Project?
Projects can be offered by alumni, parents, employers, faculty, and staff of Clark University. They can be defined to have a meaningful impact within an organization or could be meant simply to provide students with valuable exposure to a career field or industry. Project possibilities and potential opportunities are limitless. For examples of projects and instructions on how to design and post a ClarkCONNECT Project, check out this guide for project sponsors.
Through the Career Connections Center, you can find a job or internship, connect with employers and alumni career professionals, work on your resume, practice your interview skills, obtain advice, research careers, and much more. #clarkconnectsyou