Building bridges

A new initiative at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John is building bridges between students, alumni and the greater community.

Recent Lunch n’ Learn workshops for students include sessions on social media, reputation management and on financial management. Rod Stears photo.

Called the Bridge Network, this project offers current students informative workshops and mentoring opportunities, which are designed to help them in their careers and lives post-graduation.

“This program will allow our students to build valuable connections today that can help them lay down the foundation for a successful career in the future,” says Dr. Robert MacKinnon, UNB Saint John’s Vice-President.

The Bridge Network is being sponsored by the Vice-President’s Office and by the UNB Associated Alumni.

“Our alumni are eager to help the next generation of young professionals achieve their goals in life, including helping them find a fulfilling career,” says Mary Duffley, Alumni Program Manager for UNB Saint John.

“And our students are eager to learn from alumni.”

Recent Lunch n’ Learn workshops for students include sessions on social media, reputation management and on financial management. The Bridge To Success Conference, an upcoming session focusing on graduating students, will be held on Friday, March 23.

Valuable lessons

John Runcie, Students’ Representative Council’s Vice-President External, has attended several workshops and is eager for the program to grow.

“The sessions I have attended to date have exposed me to some of the do’s and don’ts of job searching, debt management and social media,” says Runcie.

“I wish I was beginning my undergrad, as I can only imagine what four or more years of being exposed to the Bridge Network will do for any UNB Saint John student and their potential to find a career.”

Community partners – such as the Saint John Board of Trade – benefit from their interaction with the students and are able to encourage them to consider remaining in Saint John.

“It’s great to be able to give back and provide students some insight into real world experiences that they may not get in a classroom environment,” says Nicholas Wheatley, alumnus, entrepreneur, and Marketing Officer for the board of trade.

“We’re always on the lookout for talented people, and this is a great way to introduce UNB Saint John students to others in the area.”

Building a better province

For Dr. MacKinnon, the program not only helps UNB achieve its strategic goal of creating positive student experiences, it’s also helping build a better New Brunswick.

“By helping connect students with local employers, we are increasing the odds that students will stay and work in New Brunswick after graduation.”

“Many of these graduates may one day be mentors themselves.”

Contributed by Heather Campbell, UNB Communications & Marketing.

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