“Our goal is to interactively prepare Notre Dame students with the experience and tools they’ll need to navigate their future success,” says Aliza Ross, Director of Alumnae and Alumni Relations at Notre Dame of Maryland University (NDMU), of the institution's First Impressions Program. The program, established several years ago and offered through NDMU's Women's College, teaches undergraduates valuable career preparation skills through interactive workshops, learning, and mentorship opportunities. These include resume reviews, mock interviews, financial literacy, one-on-one professional visits, networking experience, and the important skills of how to maintain a work-life balance.
The program is available to all students beginning in their second year. It is a collaboration between the NDMU Career Center, Business and Economics Department, and the Alumnae and Alumni Relations Office. During the academic year, students actively engage in workshops with alumnae and alumni mentors and fellow classmates. “We have found a lot of impact when we work with students on presentation, especially when it comes to attending a networking reception and presenting themselves in a responsible, professional way in person or on social media,” says Ross. “How our students create their online image, including profiles, photos, personal posts, and even comments can reveal a lot to an employer or future graduate school about their character.”
First Impressions is just one of many programs NDMU offers students for professional development and career-readiness. The University’s Career Center works closely with both undergraduate and graduate students. It also brings employers to campus throughout the year to meet and interview students and hosts one of Maryland’s largest career fairs with the Maryland Career Consortium.