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Mills College Professionals Network

Mills has recently created a member-driven networking organization that will help support members of the Mills community as they explore the job market.

The Mills College Professionals Network (MCPN) is designed to give current students, faculty and alumnae a chance to meet with professionals in their field of interest.

Members would also put in a good word for Mills students seeking work.

Sometimes networking can make a difference in this harsh economic climate.

Catherine Abboud, who received both her 2006 BA and her 2008 MBA from Mills, said that her friends that graduated with her are still looking for jobs after eight months.

“I’m very scared for them because typically, if you are looking for a job for six months your chances get lower and lower,” she said.

Abboud stressed the importance of “who you know” when applying for a job because “you can no longer rely on credentials, [and] you have to have contacts.”

Non-student members of MCPN are required to pay a $50 fee and students have to volunteer at the events as a way to contribute to the organization.

Originally, students were supposed to pay a fee, but network members decided to keep the volunteer requirement.

Alumnae and founder of the group, Tina Lee, Class of ’01, helped organize the MPCN with support from fellow alumnae.

“Having been to other alumnae events that were more professionally oriented, I felt like I really wanted Mills women to have that as well.”

The MCPN and Career Services scheduled a student launch party at Mills on Thursday March19 to introduce interested students to the organization, and go over the types of events and leadership opportunities within the MPCN.

The event was cancelled in order to work out the governing structure and bi-laws within the organization, according to the On-Campus-Liaison for MPCN, Katie Johnson.

“We didn’t want to give a half-baked story,” she said about the cancellation. “We just really want to do everything right so [that] the organization will be as successful as possible.”

Johnson stressed the importance of MCPN being autonomous and member-operated organization, but also operating within the Mills community.

The group, including Johnson and Lee, seek to “make sure that the bi-laws work most effectively with both organizations” Johnson said.

The MCPN has a Facebook group with over 400 members, including current students, faculty members, and alumnae.

The group page said that the MCPN will “bring you fun, informative and impactful after-work panels, workshops and networking events.”

Network members will also post upcoming events and job opportunities on the Facebook group page.

“The guaranteed way to make sure you’re in the loop is the Facebook group,” said Johnson.

Abboud was invited to be part of the MCPN. Although she said that she networks on her own, she is hoping to give back to the network as well as build connections through the organization.

“It’s mutually beneficial relationships I’m looking for,” said Abboud, noting the tough economic times.

The Alumnae focused launch party will be held on April 8 in San Francisco at B Restaurant and Bar at 6 p.m. Students and faculty can also attend.

Lee has high expectations for the April 8 launch. “I hope that people come and feel a good sense of community,” she said.