What is Success Connection Leadership Program?

The Success Connection Leadership Program is a unique mentoring program that literally connects students with success by pairing students with highly accomplished Simmons alumnae who volunteer to host a student for job-shadowing at her place of work. Mentors are typically executive level alumnae and/or members of the Simmons Leadership Council (SLC). Student travel related expenses are paid for by the Office of Alumni Relations & Annual Giving. Most travel takes place in the Northeast and some shadowing experiences do not require travel outside of Massachusetts.

Who can apply to Success Connection?

Success Connection is open to any student who will be a senior in September (including Dix scholars) with good academic standing graduating in January or May.

What is the application process?

There are three phases to the application process.

Step 1: Submit your complete application by the deadline: Tuesday, April 1, 2014. A reviewing committee consisting of Career Education Center, Alumni Office, and Student Life staff will read all completed applications.

Step 2: You will be notified in early-mid April if selected by the reviewing committee as a semi-finalist.

Step 3: If selected as a semi-finalist, you will be invited to sign up for a 10-minute professional interview. The interview location and times are to be determined. Interview will last up to 10 minutes. Promptness and professional attire are important. You must sign up for your interview in-person at the designated sign-up sheet location. Spaces are limited so sign-up as soon as you are notified.

What is the timeline for Success Connection?

The timeline for Success Connection Leadership Program 2014-2015 is:

  • Tuesday, April 1, 2014: Deadline for applications (including résumé)
  • April 7-9, 2014: Semi-finalists are selected and contacted; interviews sign-ups take place
  • April 15-30, 2014: Success Connection Interviews
  • May 7, 2014: Finalists named
  • September/October 2014: Success Connection Program Orientation (early afternoon)
  • January 2015 through April 30, 2015 : Visit at mentor's place of work
  • Various preparatory workshops also scheduled
Can you provide examples of mentors?

Sample of Simmons Leadership Council members who mentor students:

  • Susan Brodsky Burnett '86 Senior Development Consultant, The Brookings Institution (Washington DC)
  • Olivia Cohen-Cutler '75, VP, Broadcast Standards and Practices, ABC Entertainment Affairs
  • Louise Cort '66 Curator of Ceramics, Freer Gallery of Art / Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
  • The Honorable Pamela Dashiell '75, Judge, Boston Municipal Court, Roxbury Division
  • Kristen Ingersoll '89, Fashion & Entertainment Editor Hearst Magazines International (NYC) 
  • Lisa J.B. Peterson '03, President and Founder, Lantern Financial, LLC (Boston, MA)
  • Carol Waller Pope '74, Member, Federal Labor Relations Authority (Washington DC)
What happens next if I'm selected for the Success Connection Leadership Program?

Each Success Connection student is required to attend the Success Connection Orientation in the fall and meet with the program manager individually prior to their visit. Full details and suggestions about contacting your mentor, researching her company/profession, preparing for your visit, travel arrangements, safety tips, etc. are provided. Success Connection students arrange to visit their mentor between January and April 30. Following their visit, students submit a brief essay about their experience.

Can you give some examples of Success Connection experiences?

Some examples of Success Connection past experiences…

Kayla Cardone '10, mentor Lt. Col. Ryan at The Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C.
"Given the opportunity to participate in the Success Connection program offered from Simmons College has allowed me to broaden my scope of nursing practice, as well as view nursing care outside of the medical metropolis we know so well, Boston…I am grateful to have spent the day with Lt. Ryan. She is knowledgeable, hospitable, and a very inspiring woman. She truly represents the leadership Simmons bestows upon women, exemplifying strength, intelligence, and a strong sense of self that had guided her through a multitude of nursing experiences thus far."

Shalimar Quiles '10, mentor Lucille Sheehan '75 at EFAA, Boulder, Colorado.
"This visit was not just about networking, or prepping for the future; I found it to be more about personal definition and progression. On a professional note, I sat in on a committee meeting that emphasized the true value in nonprofit work; passion. When I feel uneasy about what the future will bring, I know I can focus my attention on that notion."

Marjorie Riggs '10, mentor Carmen Baez '79, '03HD President, DAS Latin America at Omnicom Group, New York, New York.
"She [Carmen] provided me with so many recommendations and realistic advice on moving on from being a college student to finding a job. It was amazing to feel the connection of Simmons between us. It seems that all Simmons women have very similar personalities; strong, outgoing, and ambitious… It was comforting, and a bit overwhelming, receiving such realistic advice about searching for jobs. She was very upfront and honest, it was refreshing. My favorite part was meeting Mike Hoffman founder and chairman of Changing Our World (provides marketing services to large non-profits). Speaking to him helped me focus my career interest into a more specific field."

Jai-Me Potter '10, mentor Millicent Gorham '76 Executive Director at the National Black Nurses Association, Washington, D.C.
"She [Millicent] took a great amount of time giving me tips on how to achieve the goals I set for myself. She gave really good advice and had a great discussion about her job history and how she ended up becoming the Executive Director of the National Black Nurses Association. Ms. Gorham was very blunt and upfront about everything and I truly respected that. She expressed to me that I am now ‘under her wing, and she will treat me as she does her nieces.' As a strong black leader in her community, Ms. Gorham is someone that I absolutely admire and look up to, I am glad I was able to shadow with her, it was truly a life changing experience for me."

Jessica Pratas '10, mentor Catherine Behrend '70 at the New York Art Institute, New York, New York
"One of the things that I learned right off the bat was how generous Cathie is. She really made sure to cater my visit to my interest. I was impressed and pleased that she directed me to the Asia Society, a group who not only has a museum, but who also is extremely active in human rights issues in all Asian countries. This catered to my interests in Asian art, my studies in Political Science and interest in human rights perfectly."

Michaela Eichenbaum '10, mentor Kristen Ingersoll, Fashion and Entertainment Director at Hearst Magazines International, New York, New York.
"She [Kristen] made me feel a part of the office by giving me a tour of the office and introducing me to her boss and co-workers right away. We chatted about her job and what exactly she does at Hearst (explained that she worked solely with the international editions of Cosmopolitan, Harper's Bazaar, and Esquire). We discussed the possibility of a job or internship during the summer at her office. I will take a lot from this experience, Kristen's advice on life, her ‘go get ‘em!' attitude, different levels of professionalism, knowledge of magazine production, different roles that make up a team at a magazine, and finally the confirmation and confidence that I want to work in the magazine industry after graduation."

Emily Carey '10, mentor Joyce Elden '80, Lawyer at Akerman Senterfitt, Miami, Florida.
"This program was truly one of the most exciting, informational, and valuable experiences of the ‘real world' that Simmons could offer. My day shadowing Ms. Elden, a lawyer for Akerman Senterfitt, began with observing both criminal and civil cases in local court. Here, I was able to speak with two public defenders that thoroughly seem to love their line of work. This job is incredibly demanding, with each lawyer estimating that at any one given moment, they have 100-150 open cases. Everyone who I spoke with that day gave me great insight into the LSAT, law school, and their work lives. This trip has given me great insight into education and practice of law. The Simmons Success Connection Program has provided me with the chance to see real-world lawyers in their everyday functions, and has only strengthened my desire to one day become a lawyer myself."

Erica Moura '10, mentor Heather O'Neill at CNN Productions, Atlanta, Georgia.
"It not only provided me with a whole new networking branch, but it allowed me to practice my networking and informational interviewing skills in a ‘safe' environment. Safe in the sense that I knew I was able to go to Sarah [Zengo] for advice on how to network, not to mention, Heather knew I was practicing. Heather is extremely nice—open to discussing everything with a candid attitude. Her complete honesty is exactly what I needed at this point of my career. When I returned to Boston I had a renewed sense of purpose. I had always known that journalism was a tough profession to make a mark in; however, Heather assured me that with dedication and the right frame of mind, even though it might take me a few years, I can make it."

Who can I contact with additional questions?

Check out the STEPS Career Development Plan

To learn more about the STEPS Career Development Plan based on the 5 Step Model and developed specifically for Simmons undergraduate students, visit the STEPS Plan page.

Find a Job or Internship

Check out CA$H for on-campus and work-study jobs, CareerLink for internships and full-time jobs, and the other job boards and resources we've compiled.

Meet with a Career Coach

Wondering where to start? Let us help. Drop by Monday or Tuesday from 3:00-4:30 or Wednesday or Thursday from 1:30-3:00; or, make an appointment at a time convenient to you.

Next Career Event

School of Social Work Career Fair

Mar 3, 2015 at 3 PM - 6 PM at Linda K. Paresky Conference Center, MCB Third Floor

Posted in Career Education Center


More Career Events »

Latest News

  • /cec/undergraduate/alumconnections/success/apply.php
  • /cec/undergraduate/alumconnections/success/application.php