First time's a charm: Alum volunteer begins with Bloomsburg
A decade after he graduated from Bloomsburg with a degree in Exercise Science, Billy Stump '13 had his professional career well underway and was looking for ways to give back. It didn't take him long to consider Bloomsburg.
"I was thinking about places that had benefitted me in my career," said Stump. "The first and most meaningful impact on my adulthood was Bloomsburg."
Stump signed up via an alumni volunteer form he found on the alumni webpage. An Alumni and Professional Engagement department member contacted him to be part of a panel entitled Debunking the Career Path Myth during the Career Intensive Boot Camp.
"I'm actually a little jealous [because] we didn't have this program when I was at Bloom," joked Stump. "The event was amazing. The ability to network and have resume reviews and mock interviews is beneficial, especially those first few years coming out of college."
Stump recalled how difficult it was to find a job immediately after graduation because of a lack of career experience but had awareness of the transferrable skills that all employers look for, like the ability to communicate, problem-solve, and work together as a team. The things he learned on the job, like navigating uncomfortable situations, managing his finances, or professional dining, were covered at the boot camp.
But while the event impressed Stump, the attendees impressed him even more.
"The students came prepared with well-articulated questions," recalled Stump, who impressed upon students that their career path is not set in stone by sharing his experience as an Exercise Science major who has made a career in Human Resources.
"I truly thought I'd have a career in wellness or exercise or fitness industry, but after my first internship, I never went back," explained Stump. "I liked the HR industry and was pretty good at it [so] I threw myself into opportunities. Looking back, I wouldn't have imagined my career pivoting like it did. It's common to make those deviations, especially in the beginning of a career.
Before the next day was over, Stump had already volunteered for another event, only next time he hopes to stay longer. He encourages other alumni, especially those from low-income, first-generation backgrounds such as him, to do the same.
"It wasn't until I got to Bloom that I met people with varying backgrounds and ethnicities, and I've been reflecting on its impact," explained Stump. "Without [boot camp], there could be another version of me with no opportunity to meet someone who is a working professional in a white-collar industry. I want to give that to them."
"It's a meaningful and simple way to give back to our university and engage with students who are just entering the job market," added Stump. "One of the most rewarding things that we can do as humans is look for opportunities to give back, and this is admittedly a low-effort way to do that."
Let us know if you would like to share your wisdom with fellow Huskies as a panelist, speaker, mock interviewer or resume reviewer!