Career Services is pleased to host its first Cultural Career Network Series this semester to champion career success for all Redbirds. The series connects students with alumni from various industries to discover how they transitioned from college to career and get tips for how they can do the same. Each session is held virtually from 5-6 p.m. The three sessions include:

Success Looks Like Me, March 25

During Success Looks Like Me, diverse Illinois State alumni and students participate in professional and interactive discussions about the success and challenges they experienced when transitioning from college to career. They’ll share about their undergraduate experiences while in college such as internships and practical experiences, leadership roles, involvement activities, their first job(s) after graduation, and how they landed them.

Participants will gain insights into the alumni’s majors and careers, while hearing candid insights about how they approached the job search, managed their interviews, and navigated a diverse workplace. Opportunities to ask questions will be provided through Zoom chat and breakout rooms.

Speakers include:

  • Claudia Chavez ’05 – Midwest deputy director, appointed by United States President Joe Biden
  • Nicolette Hampton ’20 – Diversity and communications coordinator for Chapman and Cutler LLP in Chicago
  • Jaylon Joyner ’18 – Health and wellness teacher/athletic trainer at Christ the King Jesuit College Prep School in Chicago
  • Ashley Shannon ’18 – Juris doctorate candidate at University of Illinois at Chicago John Marshall Law School
  • Gabriella Trevino ’18 – Community management and development director for Pathlight Home, a nonprofit organization in Florida

She Leads, April 1

Portrait of woman in yellow coat
Raychel McBride ’07

As the second virtual session of the series, She Leads welcomes Growmark Diversity and Inclusion Manager Raychel McBride ’07 (who is also the CEO and founder of Corporate KIN Diversity Strategies). McBride will share how she overcame the hurdles of sexism and racism to become a successful Black woman, business owner, and diversity leader. Redbirds will explore how identity can impact a woman’s job attainment, salary and benefits negotiation, leadership roles and career advancement, the benefits to developing mentors, how to advocate for gender equality, and much more.

Equal Identities, April 8

Isaac Hollis '20
Isaac Hollis ’20

Equal Identities, the final session of the virtual series connects Redbirds with Isaac Hollis ’20, former Black Student Union president and member of the LGBTQ+ community. He will share about his career journey and the challenges he faced at Illinois State as a Black, Queer man, and the success he achieved in his career. He’ll also share how he overcame adversity and found success in the workplace, and while continuing his education. Attendees will discover how to identify inclusive organizations—those that value diversity, and how involvement activities can help define one both today and in the future.

Students and alumni may attend any one session or the entire series. Visit the Cultural Career Network Series for access to Zoom links and other information.

The Cultural Career Network Series is an example of Illinois State’s commitment to diversity and Career Services’ mission of assisting all Redbirds with developing, evaluating, and implementing career decisions.