About the student project

The Professional Development Pipeline (PDP) seeks to bridge the gap between curriculum and professional development in undergraduate education by introducing students to young professionals of diverse backgrounds with myriad professional trajectories.

This research team's leader is Teaching Fellow Karen Okigbo, Department of Sociology, Graduate Center, CUNY.

More info

As a discipline, Sociology is unique in that it presents a complex and nuanced account of society, using empirical data. Therefore, as part of this project, young professionals of diverse backgrounds will visit Sociology classrooms at City College, bringing their personal expertise to bear on the material covered in class. During their time in the classroom, guest speakers will recount their professional trajectories, describe how their educational and professional backgrounds resulted in their current positions, and share advice on how to navigate the post-baccalaureate world. For these visits, the professionals will also share their resumes and their contact information so that students can further develop their understandings of how various careers evolve and maintain each professional as a resource in their individual networks.

There will be a culminating professional development event, open to the entire student body at the end of each academic semester. The primary goal is for students to learn, in a supportive and engaging environment, the art of networking from professionals who have utilized it in their own careers. The ultimate aim is for students to exercise agency and take complete ownership of the project, so that the project will continue to reflect their diverse and changing needs, and remain long beyond the initial timeline. 

This project seeks to present an intentional yet straightforward way to bridge the advantage gap in professional development offerings between elite, parochial universities and diverse, public universities such as City College. In an age when networking and professionalism are key indicators of post-baccalaureate success, projects such as PDP are key to introducing and instilling the importance of professionalism in students.  

What we do:

•  Bring professionals in diverse fields ranging from Epidemiology to Venture Capital Consulting to sociology classes at City College
•  Team up with the Sociology department and Sociology student groups to ensure the professional development pipeline is longstanding and sustainable
•  Plan annual public events
•  Gather student feedback and data to refine professional development practices
•  Create opportunities for student writing, analysis, interviews, and reflection on the Center for the Humanities Blog
•  Help students take the leap from undergraduate and professional life
•  Create lasting mentorship networks and peer-to-peer professional support spaces


Organizers