As a student at Brown, Class of 2015 graduate Maahika Srinivasan landed an internship through the Swearer Center’s iProv program, which funds full-time summer work experiences at local nonprofits. Srinivasan worked on Providence Talks, a mayoral initiative that aims to increase the vocabularies of children from low-income households.
“We used technology—a ‘word pedometer’—to encourage parents to have earlier conversations with their kids,” said Srinivasan, who after graduation helped young people work for social change at DoSomething.org, served as a research assistant at Columbia University and begins studies at Harvard Medical School in August. “The experience made me think about how to model local interventions in a meaningful way.”
Internships like Srinivasan’s are invaluable in helping students gain hands-on exposure to a wide variety of career fields before they graduate, according to experts at the Center for Careers and Life after Brown (CareerLAB). And over the past four years, BrownConnect — an initiative that takes advantage of a digital platform to connect students with alumni for mentoring, advice and internships — has been critical in expanding access to such opportunities.
Building on this success, the University on Tuesday, June 12, broadened the impact of BrownConnect by extending full access to all Brown alumni. Enhancements to BrownConnect have turned the student-oriented initiative into one that now will enable alumni to expand professional networks, cultivate career connections and seek advice from fellow alumni.
“BrownConnect has been tremendously effective in bringing together our undergraduates with our alumni and opening doors to internships and career opportunities,” said Brown President Christina Paxson. “We are excited about this next phase, the launch of alumni-to-alumni professional networking, and see it as a major step in strengthening engagement among alumni and between alumni and the University.”