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Explore What’s Next for Your Career with AmeriCorps Alums

June 8, 2016

Today’s guest blog comes from the AmeriCorps Alums Austin, TX Chapter Leaders, Meghan Hein and Alicia Flores. This post is part of our Chapter Spotlight Blog Series and #AmeriGrad, a yearly AmeriCorps Alums-led initiative each June to celebrate all AmeriCorps graduates and connect them to the Alums network, each other, and career support. Connect with any Alums chapter by registering with Alums at www.AmeriCorpsAlums.org/join and choosing the chapter closest to you. You can also follow the Austin chapter on Facebook or click here to browse social media pages from our other active chapters. 

Whether you’re just wrapping up a term of term of service, or are years beyond service and ready for a career change, many AmeriCorps grads find themselves at a point where they ask, “What’s next?”

What’s next for my career path? What’s the next challenge I want to take on? What steps do I need to take to take to get there?

Fortunately, AmeriCorps Alums has a lot of great resources available to members and alums, including a webinar on “Finding Career Happiness” tomorrow, June 9, 12-1:30 p.m. EDT. Alums also has over 70 chapters across the country, hosts monthly webinars, and offers several virtual career fairs, graduate school fairs, and networking events each year.

austin group shot1

Austin AmeriCorps Alums

We’re proud to lead the chapter in Austin, Texas, where we also love to connect local AmeriCorps members and alums to career support and help them answer the question, “What’s next?”

Last year, we hosted a hugely successful professional development event for current and former AmeriCorps members titled, “Your Life after AmeriCorps: Graduate School and Careers in Public Service.” The event gave aspiring public sector professionals a chance to learn about potential graduate school programs that will help them on their path and was sponsored by The Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas and the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. Each presentation offered information on tuition, courses, and application processes for applying to each school. Both universities offer financial assistance to AmeriCorps alumni and a potential match to the Segal Education Award. You can learn more by reaching out to the schools directly on the websites of the Bush and Clinton Schools.

austin life after ac bush clinton event

After the school presentations, the sixty-five people in attendance heard from a panel of public service professionals who had served in AmeriCorps and spanned the sectors from government, to nonprofits, and to careers in national service. Panelists included Susan P. Milam, Ph.D., LMSW, Professional Consultant in Governmental Affairs; Marcus Luna, Program Coordinator of Integrated Student Supports at Communities In Schools of Central Texas; Molly Hahn, Volunteer Engagement Coordinator at United Way for Greater Austin; and Jaclyn Kolar, Grants Officer at OneStar Foundation. The “fireside chat” was an interactive and engaging experience for the audience, who were given the opportunity to ask specific questions about graduate school, careers in public service, and tips on how to have a successful career in public service. Topics of discussion ranged from choosing the right program to how to make the best of your network while still in service.

And that’s not all our chapter does. Like many Alums chapters, we follow the lead of AmeriCorps Alums’ national strategy and know it’s just as important to connect AmeriCorps members and alums to each other as it is to connect them to career support. That’s why we host monthly happy hours and quarterly service events. It’s also why we’re excited to join with AmeriCorps Alums to celebrate AmeriCorps graduation season.

Team huddle

Austin at last year’s MLK Day of Service

Last year, AmeriCorps Alums, together with the Corporation for National and Community Service, and Alums’ national service partners and chapters, launched #AmeriGrad, the first national celebration of a graduating AmeriCorps Class and all AmeriCorps graduates. The Austin chapter hosted a game night last year, and this year we’re hosting kickball and a picnic in the park on June 25th and invite all Austin Corps members and alums to join us.

If you’re an alum, and especially if you work for or volunteer with an AmeriCorps program, learn more about how to get involved and celebrate #AmeriGrad by visiting AmericorpAlums.org/Graduation! An easy way to to get involved is to share your best AmeriCorps pride photo on Twitter or Instagram using #AmeriGrad, and you’ll see it recognized in the AmeriGrad Hall of Fame!

Austin photo booth made in americorps

A glimpse at Austin’s #AmeriGrad photo booth from last year!

If you’re not connected with AmeriCorps Alums (or know Ameri-friends who aren’t), join the AmeriCorps Alums network as we celebrate the AmeriCorps Class of 2016 and ALL AmeriCorps grads! Then, click here to tweet an invite to your friends so they can join too!

After all, it’s easier to figure out “What’s next,” when you’re connected to the Alums community and have great friends making the journey with you. And to all you Austin Alums, come introduce yourself and aim for a home run or two at our kickball game on June 25th!

For the AmeriCorps Alums full events calendar for #AmeriGrad, click here.

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