Dean of Students Levi Esses works hard for the students at Newman University, and now he will be partnering with Young Professionals of Wichita (YPW) as a College Connections Team Member to help get students connected to the professional community.
YPW began in 2005 due to a need "for an action plan to address the future requirements for young intellectual capital in Wichita," according to the organization's website. The organization of more than 3,100 members has a goal to increase Wichita's young professional population.
Esses noticed YPW had a program that worked with university sponsors, allowing students who are 21 or older a YPW membership.
After working with a YPW coordinator, Esses began his new volunteer role in January 2017.
"My role will be to connect our students with YPW," said Esses. "I’m working right now to try and get memberships for our students and hoping that in the fall, they can become members if they wish to do so."
Newman would act as a sponsor for the students who want to join. There is no limit to the number of students that can join, they just need to sign up. Esses said they are still working out the details and hope to have everything ready to go for the fall semester.
Esses said the benefits for students who join will be plentiful. Networking opportunities, career placement and meeting with other local business people are just a few. Director of Career Services and Cooperative Education Melody Head agrees.
"YPW will be a great start to learning about different careers," said Head. "Access to opportunities for improving leadership skills, and/or to network with more than 3,000 young professionals in Wichita at more than 60 events per year."
Head also mentioned she could see Career Services helping with the effort in different ways, whether that means hosting a YPW event on campus or being the contact person that will help promote events off campus.
Recently, Esses helped the College Connections Team host a game during "Last Call for Graduates," — an on-campus event celebrating Newman University graduates — with the help of Newman University Alumni Relations.
"We hosted the ring toss," said Esses, "and students would get a ticket if they got the ring around the target, giving them the opportunity to win." The winner was determined by a raffle drawing, and Colby Shinkle won a prize consisting of a free YPW membership for one year and a bag full of Wichita "swag."
Esses said he plans on getting the word out via e-mails and having informational tables set up at campus-wide events.
"It’s an ideal position for me," he said, "because that’s what I’m doing anyway — connecting students with on and off-campus things. It’s given NU a presence, but now the YPW is thinking about Newman and how to include them."
Esses doesn't plan on stopping there. In addition to the YPW role, he also recently signed up to act as the Senior Student Affairs Officer (SSAO) representative for the Kansas Student Affairs Conference (KSAC) Advisory Steering Committee.
Esses said his primary role as the SSAO will be "to provide the perspective of student affairs divisions from Kansas Independent College Association (KICA) institutions to the KSAC Conference Planning Committees."