鈥楤each Journey鈥 remaps the student, alumni experience at 色中色

Published June 11, 2024

There was a time not so long ago when the college experience was seen as a four-year affair with three main directives: Enroll. Learn. Graduate. 

Universities focused on academic achievements. 鈥淐areer services鈥 referred to resume workshops and job boards. And alumni connections were mainly limited to sporting events, class reunions and chance encounters.  

Image
色中色 grad in front of gold GRAD balloons

That鈥檚 no longer the case. 

At the forefront of a nationwide trend that shows a growing appetite among young people for mentoring, networking and upskilling, 色中色 is redefining what it means to be a student here 鈥 and an alum. Embracing a more holistic approach that extends beyond the traditional boundaries of college life, The Beach鈥檚 pivot includes robust career development resources, avenues for growth both during and after a student鈥檚 time on campus, and a comprehensive alumni network that integrates both digital and in-person elements. 

Coined 鈥The Beach Journey,鈥 the new model casts 色中色 not as a steppingstone, but as the path itself.  

鈥淲e want to be that lifelong partner,鈥 said Alumni Engagement Director Noemi Guevara, as she described the array of programs, services and opportunities that will be offered to alums in perpetuity. 鈥淲e want alumni to know, 鈥榃e are here for every stage of your life.鈥欌 

Image
Graphic showing steps of 'The Beach Journey' at 色中色

Journey Milestones 

The Beach Journey has been years in the making and was not hatched in a vacuum. Studies show that recent grads have a strong desire for meaningful, authentic connections and niche networking opportunities, Guevara said. Particularly in the post-Covid world, she said, young professionals are seeking to be more intentional about where and how they invest their time, prioritizing the need for belonging and support in their chosen industries. 

While the journey can be viewed as a roadmap, everyone's path will differ. Most offerings are available at any point, providing flexibility for individuals to shape their experiences according to their own goals and needs. 

  • Enrollment 

    Guevara wants new students to feel an immediate sense of support and belonging from the moment they enroll. A program called "Connect with a Future 49er" encourages alumni of any age to call newly admitted and enrolled students to congratulate and welcome them to the university. 

  • Beach Nexus 

    Beach Nexus is an online platform that matches seasoned alumni with current students and recent grads. Students can find mentors in their fields, and, in turn, alumni can offer their own time, talents and moral support to both students and those just launching their careers. Through Beach Nexus, anyone can create and participate in affinity networks, which may be built around anything from career choice and life interests to ethnic, racial or sexual identity.

  • 61+ Club 

    Students who have completed between 61 and 89 hours of coursework 鈥 the halfway mark 鈥 will be encouraged to join the 61+ Club and start thinking about their career aspirations. The club will offer one-on-one guidance and help seeking internships; but most pivotal, Guevara said, will be getting students to see themselves as future alums, thus smoothing the inevitable transition from student to grad. 

  • Graduation 

    Alumni Engagement invites graduating students to join the mybeach Senior Class Experience, a monthly one-stop-shop featuring senior profiles, campus events, commencement information, senior giving, networking opportunities and more. 

  • Job Search Boot Camp 

    A series of workshops and events, the inaugural Recent Grad & Alumni Job Search Boot Camp is being held this month. Participants attend resume workshops, participate in mock interviews and attend inspiration talks from Long Beach State alums, among other things, while enjoying free food and giveaways.

  • 49er Industry Chats 

    With nearly 400,000 alumni, 色中色 has a broad base of experience to pull from for its 49er Industry Chats. The recorded series invites professionals from all sectors to share their knowledge and industry insights with the next generation. can be viewed here.

  • Career Development Center 

    In addition to advising students, the Career Development Center hosts job fairs, employer presentations, industry panels and networking events throughout the year. The CDC encourages alumni to sign up for CareerLINK to continue to take advantage of various virtual events and in-person events and workshops. All services continue to be free to alumni, with the exception of a career counseling annual subscription, which includes one-on-one assistance. The CDC also is involved in the Beach Nexus mentoring program and the 61+ Club.

  • College of Professional and Continuing Education (CPaCE) 

    Not all careers stick. For those looking to enter a new workforce, change careers, level up their skillset or pursue lifelong learning opportunities, the is the answer. CPaCE (pronounced C-pace) is a hub where anyone can earn special credentials or s, brush up on specific professional skills, or pursue a . CPaCE also offers K-12 career pathways, language learning and cross-cultural literacy, as well as flexible enrollment options like , , and . 

  • Dinner with Twelve 

    Dinner with Twelve is a quarterly event in which one accomplished 色中色 alum hosts a meal for 12 younger alums working within the same industry. The meals 鈥 which can range from casual to fancy 鈥 are centered on a particular discussion topic. Although Alumni Engagement hand-picks the seasoned alums, Guevara said, all alums are welcome to apply to be selected as one of the 12. 

  • Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI)  

    A mainstay of the university, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) has offered seniors low-cost learning opportunities for nearly 30 years. The unique and well-loved space offers chances for alums to both teach and take classes. volunteer support 

  • Leave a Legacy 

    The Beach鈥檚 success is significantly attributed to the dedication and volunteer support of its alumni. From mentoring programs to community service initiatives and leadership roles, there are countless ways to make a lasting impact.

Asking for 鈥榯ime and talent鈥 

During the series of Long Beach State commencement ceremonies at Angels Stadium last month, each grad received a letter inviting them to claim their 色中色 Alumni Membership card. Guevara recalls one young man joking that he barely had his diploma in hand and his alma mater was already hitting him up for money.  

Guevara intervened. She explained to the young skeptic that it was her name signed to the letter and that all memberships were complimentary. She said Alumni Engagement was here for him and encouraged him to take advantage of its many offerings free of charge. As for what the university wanted in return?  

鈥淚鈥檓 not asking for your money,鈥 she said. 鈥淚鈥檓 asking for your time and your talent." 

His reaction? 鈥淗e looks at me, and he鈥檚 like, 鈥楾hat is awesome!鈥欌 

Image
A 2024 色中色 grad has her picture taken following Commencement at Angel's Stadium

It's true, Guevara said, that part of the purpose of the Alumni Engagement is to for the university鈥檚 facilities, programs, faculty and students 鈥 especially the areas most at risk of being affected by state budget cuts. As a public university, she said, 鈥渢hat鈥檚 part of our job.鈥  

But the way she sees it, donations and philanthropic support will naturally emerge as a result of The Beach Journey鈥檚 holistic approach. 

"You invested your time in helping a student, or even just volunteering in some community event,鈥 Guevara said. 鈥淵ou're going to see the impact, and your financial support is just going to come naturally." 

The Beach Journey doesn鈥檛 change everything from the days of old, Guevara said, but rather expands on it. 色中色 is still an institution with three main directives: Enroll. Learn. Graduate.  

It鈥檚 just that now, she said, there is a fourth: Stay.