By Eleanor Lamb
The University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) has launched an online resource to offer career guidance for its adult students, as well as its brood of more than 400,000 alumni.
Heather Chakiris, director of student and alumni services at UCLA Extension, said that 20 people have subscribed to the platform as of Nov. 15. The site, created through InsideTrack, provides subscribers with assistance in finding jobs, practicing for interviews, and polishing resumes. InsideTrack is a company that offers online higher education services, such as consulting and coaching, for a number of universities across the country.
UCLA’s Extension program approached the university’s career center and alumni affairs office about setting up InsideTrack. UCLA Extension is the university’s continued education branch, offering certificate programs to people who want to further or switch careers. Anyone, former UCLA student or not, can register for Extension. Chakiris was familiar with InsideTrack through her work with another institution, and said she looked forward to the project.
“We had a lot of trust in the quality of people they have working with them,” Chakiris said. “We felt very comfortable working with InsideTrack.”
According to Wesley Thorne, director of UCLA’s career center, the two target audiences for InsideTrack at UCLA are Extension students and alumni. He said that Extension students, who are usually in their early 30s, often balance jobs and classes. For $30, InsideTrack subscribers have access to supplemental career advice materials. For $50, they can meet one-on-one with a career coach. Thorne said that one-on-one sessions usually cost between $200 and $250 through other providers.
Thorne said that InsideTrack will be of particular use to UCLA’s nearly half a million alumni, who live all over the world. Angela Scales, senior director of Bruin Connections at UCLA’s alumni affairs, said that she and her team have spread the word about InsideTrack through alumni connection channels and social media. There are also plugs for the service on UCLA One, the university’s alumni website.
“I think this is an exciting development for us because it allows us to serve more alumni than we’d usually be able to,” Scales said. “It definitely fills a gap.”
This article originally appeared in MeriTalk on November 21, 2016