Our Cornell University Partnership: Coming Full Circle

Last year in late October, I drove from my childhood home where I was visiting my Dad, to the campus of Cornell Univerity in Ithaca, NY to have a meeting that would change my professional trajectory and launch the Compassionate Leaders Circle. Kelly Dwyer, Director of Learning at CLC who graduated from Cornell’s Business School in 2011 was the catalyst in this process since she arranged the introduction back to my alma mater.

Forty-one years earlier, in the Fall of 1977, I made the same drive to interview with the Admissions Director at the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell where I ended up getting my undergraduate degree which led to a twenty-year career in Hotel Management and Real Estate Development.

The 2018 meeting was with Laurie Sedgewick, Director of Career Services at the SC Johnson Graduate School of Management which has led to an amazing partnership with her and her colleagues. Since we have launched the collaboration, we have provided her team with a professional development program, partnered with the school to update and co-brand our approach and Kelly and I co-taught our inaugural online Pivot with Purpose: Career Accelerator which completed in March and our next program begins on June 11th, which is open to anyone who needs support to launch or relaunch a career.

The program resulted in a 23% improvement in the skills that are taught related to the change model, below which is the foundation of the program. In addition, pre and post surveys revealed great progress related to developing career satisfaction, creating a clear career vision/plan and producing career change.

Here is one of the testimonials offered by the participants who benefited from the program:

“The Pivot with Purpose program experience was life-changing. It was led by knowledgeable and talented coaches that truly exemplify “compassionate leadership”. Going through this journey with all of the wonderful people that were part of the cohort was an unexpected bonus. And ultimately, the results I gained from the program were more than worthwhile.”

Later this month Kelly and I are presenting a short program at a Cornell Business School Event in New York City to explore women in business and we are looking forward to partnering on more programs in the Fall. It is wonderful to be reconnected to the Cornell Community and my youth in such a rewarding way. I am excited and grateful.