The Business School at the University of Colorado Denver is committed to helping students and alumni carve out career business opportunities—while strategically forming partnerships with potential employers. The school’s Graduate Career Connections™ (GCC) office helps connect employers with students around potential job opportunities while encouraging executive involvement with the Business School’s students and faculty. To lead the charge, the Business School recently hired Karen Niparko as the GCC director. She will serve as a key contact for employers looking for talent referrals and will orchestrate strategic networking and educational events for students. On Niparko’s team is Terri Vasquez, GCC’s advisor who assists students with their job search plan and advises employers on how to maximize the visibility of their job opportunities with students, alumni and faculty. Terri also manages the day-to-day functions of the GCC office.
“Employers recognize the many benefits of developing a strategic relationship with a great business school,” said Niparko. “Whether contributing in the classroom, sharing insights with students preparing for their careers, participating in our Leadership Café speaker series or identifying candidates to fill open positions, our hope is that the Graduate Career Connections office will become an essential resource to business leaders in this area and region.”
Niparko holds a BA in Behavioral Sciences from the University of Michigan and an MBA in Organizational Behavior and Human Resources Management from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is also a member of the Business School advisory board, advisor with Advisory Board Architects and principal of Corporate Solutions Consulting Inc., a human resources/business operations consulting practice.
GCC is the newest resource from the Business School connecting businesses with current business students and alumni. The GCC collaborates and partners with UC Denver’s Career Center and Experiential Learning Center to facilitate career opportunities for Business School students and alumni. Niparko plans to lead the GCC team in the cultivation of strategic relationships with businesses – large and small, local, regional and national – to help them connect with the vast resources of the Business School. The GCC also mines the Business School’s network of students and alumni to connect businesses with a pipeline of talent, helping to bring the parties together in a timely, effective way. Marketing of employers’ intern and full-time job profiles for increased student interest is another key benefit that the GCC offers local companies.
“Working in the human capital and talent acquisition field for many years, the GCC team knows networking and connecting people is how the game is played,” explained Niparko. “Those students who network effectively and take ownership for managing their career search have the greatest chance of landing the opportunities they want, even in a challenging business environment. Our job is to help employers connect with these students and guide them toward their next top-performing employee.”