Tag Archive | "Toppel Career Center"


Nominate a Junior or Senior for the Professional Development Academy by September 5

The Toppel Career Center invites faculty, staff, and administrators to nominate a junior or senior student for the Fall 2016 Professional Development Academy class.  The Academy is an intensive program designed to help students develop knowledge and skills necessary for career readiness and success. The program allows participants to explore critical professional proficiencies identified by employers. Proficiency areas include Workplace ProfessionalismCritical Thinking and Reasoning, and Communication.

Applications for this elite program are being accepted until Monday, September 5. To nominate a student, email Esther Lamarre the student’s name, email address, and two to three sentences indicating why the student would be a good fit for the academy.

For more information contact Lamarre at 305-284-1820.

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UK Donors Help Students  ‘Aim for the Stars’


UK Donors Help Students ‘Aim for the Stars’

British donors will finance a London immersion trip for 20 students who are interested in global careers.

By Barbara Gutierrez
UM News

LondonCORAL GABLES, Fla. (June 22, 2016) – A group of University of Miami students will witness the complexities of globalization first hand, including the fallout from the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, when they travel to London for the inaugural international Toppel Career Crawl.

The Toppel Career Center has partnered with a pair of London-based donors to provide a once-in-a-lifetime experience for 20 students. The lucky group will take part in a London Career Crawl, an immersion trip aimed at providing industry insights, networking opportunities, and cultural outings.

“UM aims to develop students into leaders of the world, so we hope the London Career Crawl will play a part in helping them build meaningful global careers,” said Christian Garcia, associate dean and executive director. “Many of our students express an interest in working abroad, and it’s our job to help them develop the skills, knowledge, and connections that will take them there.”

The London Career Crawl will be held the week of the fall academic break, October 16-21. Sophomores and juniors who are interested in participating must apply by August 31.

The immersion trip is generously supported financially and logistically by a British couple who are members of the UM Parents Council. Colin Potter is founder and partner of Global Legal Search, an executive search company established in 2002, and his wife, Clare E. Woodman, is global chief operating officer for Institutional Securities of Morgan Stanley. Their son, Thomas, is a rising junior at UM.

The couple, first-generation college graduates who came from humble beginnings, hope that the educational trip will include students who otherwise would not have the opportunity for such an experience, said Potter.

“Both my wife and I were fortunate to have had the opportunity to work in different countries during our careers,” said Potter. “We wanted to give some UM students, particularly first-generation college students, the opportunity to see a major international city like London and to meet people from a diverse range of global organizations. Hopefully the trip will inspire them to aim for the stars when it comes to their own career ambitions.”

While in London, the students will be able to explore career paths and opportunities in a global work environment and engage in interactive visits to employer sites, including Morgan Stanley’s London office, the London office of New York-based White & Case, an international law firm, as well as a London advertising agency and other major business organizations in a variety of sectors.

Students also will visit professional hubs such as the London Stock Exchange, attend receptions with UM alumni and other professionals living and working in London, enhance their career readiness by learning what they should do now to successfully transition into a global workforce after graduation, and discover what it’s really like to live and work abroad.

The Toppel Career Center launched the Career Crawl initiative in April 2016 with two domestic crawls, one in downtown Miami, which focused on nonprofits, and one in Washington, D.C., where students learned about government and public service.

The London Career Crawl is open to undergraduate students in any University of Miami school or college who will be sophomores or juniors at the time of the trip. There is no cost, though students are responsible for securing and purchasing the necessary documents to travel abroad, i.e. passport and/or visa.

Interested students must submit an online application by August 31, 2016. Students chosen to move forward in the selection process will give a brief presentation/interview on how they hope the experience will enhance their career readiness.

For more information and to apply, students should contact Hilary Kautter Allsopp at h.kautter@miami.edu.




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Toppel Career Center’s Garcia, Haimes Honored by NACE

By Barbara Gutierrez
UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (April 12, 2016) – Two members of the Toppel Career Center have been honored with national awards from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the leading association for career services at nearly 2,000 colleges and universities nationwide.

Christian Garcia, associate dean and executive director of Toppel, was honored with the Mentor of the Year Award, while Samantha Haimes, associate director for career readiness, has won NACE’s Rising Star Award.

The annual awards recognize outstanding work at the national level. The Mentor of the Year Award recognizes an individual who has selflessly demonstrated leadership and the ability to serve as a quality mentor to one or more individuals. Garcia, who has worked at UM since 2001, has mentored several young professionals through the NACE mentoring program for the past three years.

One of those he mentored was Jeffrey L. Alston, assistant director of Employer Relations and Internships at The College of Brockport- SUNY. Alston nominated Garcia for the award and in his nominating letter said, “The growth I have experienced through this relationship has been exponential.” He also noted that Garcia offered tips and advice that helped him improve in his job, including how to facilitate group discussions and presentations.

“My mentor has exceeded the title of mentor and has become my Career Services Big Brother,” said Alston.

“Of all the awards that I could ever win, this one means the world to me because it recognizes the deep relationships I have made through the NACE Mentorship Program,” said Garcia, who holds a Master of Science from Florida State University. “I have learned from my mentees, just as they have learned from me, and that’s what makes this program such a rewarding experience. I was truly surprised and touched by the honor.”

Haimes, who has a Master of Science in Education from UM, has been working at Toppel since 2012. Her award recognizes her strong leadership potential and contributions to the career services profession and the NACE organization. It comes with a $1,500 prize from Spelman Johnson, a premier executive search firm committed to serving higher education.

“This award means so much to me,” said Haimes. “It is such an honor and at the same time a welcomed responsibility to rise to the occasion and continue to contribute to the field of career services, to students, and to my colleagues alike. I feel very proud, humbled, and motivated.”

The Toppel Career Center’s mission is to help students and alumni develop career-related skills by providing high quality resources, services, programming, and events that will prepare them for a lifetime of career success.

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Students Dress for Success with Sebastian’s Closet


Students Dress for Success with Sebastian’s Closet

By Renee Reneau
UM News

Sebastian's Closet

Senior Miles Holmes turned to Sebastian’s Closet to rent the suit he needed for a job interview and Peace Corps networking event.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (April 7, 2016) — Clothes don’t make the man or woman. But they can make the job candidate. And with the interview season upon us, the University of Miami’s Toppel Career Center is supporting students in all aspects of career preparation—right down to the threads they wear.

Sebastian’s Closet began as a Student Government initiative in 2015, renting professional clothes for free to degree-seeking students at UM (with the exception of M.B.A., M.D., and law students).

Clothing from Sebastian’s Closet can be rented for various purposes such as Greek events, class presentations, career fairs, and interviews. A wide variety of apparel, including suits and shirts for women and men, is available in just about every size.

“I’m 6’6” so the fact that they had something that fits me was impressive,” said Miles Holmes, a senior majoring in Spanish, who has used Sebastian’s Closet three times since it opened.

“I heard about it through Toppel’s newsletter, and I didn’t have a suit at the time,” said Holmes. “I used the suit I rented for a Peace Corps networking event and an informal interview with Protis Global in Miami.”

The physical experience of wearing clothes affects more than just one’s confidence. According to a 2015 joint study by Columbia University and California State University, professional dress is associated with enhanced conceptual processing.

“I felt confident and appropriately dressed,” said Holmes. “If I hadn’t had that suit, I wouldn’t have gone to any of the networking events.”

Holmes will enroll at Cornell University in the fall to pursue a master’s degree in industrial and labor relations.

Since Sebastian’s Closet opened in September 2015, almost 100 student requests have been filled. Freshman Harrison Kudwitt was one of the first.

“When I bid for Alpha Epsilon Pi, I didn’t know I would need a jacket, so I used Sebastian’s Closet,” said Kudwitt. “It saved me money and stress. It was so quick and easy that a week later my roommate used it.”

Sebastian’s Closet requests can be submitted through the Toppel Career Center website. Students will receive a response within five business days, usually sooner.

Clothing from Sebastian’s Closet is rented at no cost to students. One can even return items unwashed, thanks to a partnership between Toppel and Liberty Cleaners and Laundry on campus.

“It’s a great partnership we have with Liberty Cleaners,” said Carly Smith, assistant director of career education at Toppel, who serves as the coordinator of Sebastian’s Closet. “Students know they have nothing to worry about, except performing their best at interviews.”

Clothing from Sebastian’s Closet is rented for a seven-day period. All items are donated from the greater UM community, and suits are distributed on a first-come first-served basis. Once a reservation is approved through email, students pick up their suits at Toppel, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We are always accepting professional clothing donations,” said Smith. “The Closet is only as good as the people who make it happen. I’m proud to be a part of it.”


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UM Hires Peace Corps Recruiter

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UM Hires Peace Corps Recruiter

By Barbara Gutierrez
UM News

Donna Bean

Donna Bean

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 16, 2016)—The University of Miami, which ranked No. 25 among medium-sized schools on the Peace Corps 2016 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list, has hired a new Peace Corps recruiter. With an office at the Toppel Career Center, Donna Bean will ensure that UM continues to excel in service to the Peace Corps.

A 2015 graduate of the School of Nursing and Health Studies, Bean served in the Peace Corps in Mozambique from 2009 to 2012, using her skills as a nurse to work with HIV/AIDS patients. Now, as a part-time recruiter, she hopes to attract more UM students by providing one-on-one counseling, organized information sessions, film screenings, and attending other networking events. Currently, 13 UM alumni are serving in the Peace Corps around the world.

“My goal at the U this first year is to establish the presence of Peace Corps on campus,” Bean said. “I have an office on campus and provide weekly office hours for students to come in and ask any and all questions about the Peace Corps.”

Her efforts also include working with the School of School of Education and Human Development, which has a Peace Corps Master’s International program through its Masters in Education, Community and Social Change degree. That program couples a master’s degree with Peace Corps service.

Bean credits former UM President Donna Shalala’s enthusiasm for the Peace Corps for motivating many students to learn more about organization launched in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy. One of the first Peace Corps volunteers, Shalala served in Iran, where she lived in a mud village and taught at an agricultural college, from 1962-1964. It was in the Peace Corps, Shalala always told students, that she became “a citizen of the world.”

“I think her presence and collaboration with the Peace Corps has been a wonderful influence on the campus and our student body,” Bean said, noting that UM students have been participating in the service organization since its inception.



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