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Careers

University Initiative

William & Mary will lead in the preparation of lifelong learners equipped to navigate rapid change and thrive from their first job to their last.

At a moment when work is transforming at extraordinary speed in every profession and industry, employees who can learn continually, think critically and adapt quickly are powerful assets. W&M will provide the best preparation for principled success. The fluent integration of work and learning that will last a lifetime must begin in college — and will be the hallmark of a W&M education. This evolution of the liberal arts, to include internships and other work-integrated experiences, will span every discipline. Building on distinctive excellence in research, athletics and study abroad, along with a strong global network, W&M is best positioned to deliver on this promise. W&M will be known as the university that brings together an exceptional education with extraordinary experiential learning and provides connections that will support alumni throughout their professional lives.

Goals:
  • Lead the nation’s selective liberal arts & sciences institutions in applied learning opportunities for every student.
  • Cultivate and retain exceptional talent for our commonwealth, our nation and world.
  • Mobilize W&M’s worldwide network of alumni, employer and parent partners to broaden learning experiences and career pathways for graduates and support a lifetime of professional success.
  • Create innovative curricular pathways to credentials in high demand skills and fields, such as summer “jump start” minors.
  • Provide a funded internship or other applied learning experience for every undergraduate.
Targets:
  • At graduation, 85% of undergraduate students record an internship or other hands-on learning opportunity by 2026:
    • Identify and establish solutions to address any applied learning gaps related to student demographics by 2023. Show measurable progress in closing those gaps by 2026.
    • Identify percentage of Virginia and Washington, D.C. “first post-graduate landing points” by 2023; show measurable progress in increasing that percentage by 2026.
    • Seventy-five percent of the sophomore class takes a summer semester by 2026.
  • One hundred percent of W&M undergraduate programs offer a credit-bearing internship opportunity (currently ~2/3 of undergraduate programs have such offerings on the books).
  • Three to five jump-start minors offered every summer by 2026.
  • Triple Washington Center applied-learning placements by 2026.
  • Triple W&M VET partner companies by 2026.
  • By 2023, set philanthropic and progress goals for funded internships:
    • # of employers with parent or alumni connections who hire W&M graduates.
    • # of alumni-led mentoring programs and certificate offerings.
    • % of repeat employer partners.
    • % of international employer partners.
    • % of Virginia employer partners (small, medium and large businesses).
    • Positive net promoter score from employer partners over life of the partnership.
Actions:
  • Create an enterprise-wide internship (experiential learning) program at scale, providing early and academically integrated support for all students — with special focus on outcome gaps for first-generation, low-income, veteran and other under-represented students.
    • Establish a pre-major, credit-bearing internship course to ensure professional exploration early and often.
    • Address workforce skills gaps via summer “jump-start” minors, W&M VET career transition programs and other credentialing.
    • Increase volunteer engagement for career support, to scale programs and services.
    • Incorporate high-impact practices for employing organizations; track and report employer net promoter scores and outcomes.
    • Track and report student progress, including learning and first destination outcomes to include analysis focused on underrepresented and marginalized groups in high-demand professions.
  • Launch a fundraising initiative to support internships and other applied learning opportunities for every student.
  • Partner with peer Virginia public universities to seek Talent Pathways legislation supporting paid internships in high-need areas such as teaching, data analytics, small business development, etc.
  • Create an integrated, one-stop W&M website for students and hiring organizations, calling in all those at W&M who support internships and applied learning.
  • Establish a faculty immersion program that embeds faculty members in leading and emerging industries around the commonwealth as a way to enhance teaching and mentorship, expand internship opportunities and inspire entrepreneurial initiatives.
  • Create a program that trains faculty to help advise and mentor students in their educational and career pursuits.
  • Develop a long-term strategy for a lifetime of career engagement with our graduates:
    • Increase access to the full complement of the W&M network to grow talent pathways and enhance engagement by streamlining volunteer and mentorship support.
    • Deploy leading-edge platforms that support experiential learning, constituent engagement and credentialing aligned with talent pathways.
    • Implement a staffing plan to support our students and alumni in the full life cycle of career development and professional engagement.

Support the Careers Initiative

For further information about this initiative and ways to support the effort, please contact:

Suzie Armstrong '93 , Executive Director of Development for Special Projects
757-221-7647
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