Published 12/29/15

Alumni webinars: Useful tools for career advancement

The Office of Alumni Engagement is using technology to help alumni around the world. The latest endeavor is a series of webinars on timely topics, led by alumni experts. You’ll find a section for webinars on the Careers section of the alumni website. Choose “Career Coaches” in the left sidebar.

Launched in September 2015, the fall series of webinars covered of “Communicating with Confidence,” “Leading with Emotional Intelligence,” and “Personal Branding” and are held noon to 1 p.m. - during most people's lunch hour.

“Both parties have responsibilities in the communication process,” says Rita Williams-Bogar ’76, owner, Personal Development Solutions, LLC, in the “Communicating with Confidence” webinar. “There are many barriers to clear communication. However you choose or find yourself communicating – whether it’s by email, phone, or in person – you really need to be aware to ask questions if you’re the receiver, and if you’re the sender, to periodically check for understanding.”

Body language is also important to communication, says Williams-Bogar. “People, especially supervisors, need to match their facial expressions and body language to what is being said. Most people will believe what they see, not what they hear, if the two are not in alignment.”

One of the most effective tools we can use as communicators, Williams-Bogar says, is the power of the pause. “Take a moment. Breathe, listen, process what has been said, and then ask if what you heard is what was meant.” Spring2016AlumniWebinars

Nicole Archambault ’10, human resource manager at The Hartford, also advocates taking a moment before responding in her webinar, “Leading with Emotional Intelligence.” She says, “People with a high emotional intelligence quotient (EQ) have the ability to wait – to count to 10 – before responding. They have figured out what their emotional triggers are and have developed techniques to deal with those triggers.”

Developing emotional intelligence requires a great deal of honest personal reflection, says Archambault. “You need continuous feedback, time to process, and excellent communication skills. Enlist a confidant to help, and purchase the book Emotional Intelligence 2.0 . A personal assessment and guidelines for improvement come with each issue.”

In the “Personal Branding” webinar, E. Elizabeth “Beth” Carter ’85 shows us that personal branding is not bragging. Rather, it is knowing yourself and your core values and using them to formulate a personal mission statement. “You need to make sure that how others see you is the same way you see yourself, so honest assessment and re-assessment are important. Boil it down to 30-second and 60-second commercials selling yourself. Grab your audience, and be consistent.”

The webinars are proving to be a popular and valuable tool for alumni. “We’ve received a lot of positive feedback and helpful critiques from attendees,” says Robin Warde, director of alumni engagement. “Our goal is to provide useful tools to alumni at all stages in their careers.”

If you have expertise to share with alumni through a webinar, please contact Warde, at rwarde@bryant.edu with the subject line “Webinar Expert.”