Caldwell knows the power of networking. Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs with a major in policy analysis in 2012, she landed her first position with Booz Allen Hamilton thanks to a SPEA classmate who connected her with an alum at the firm. “I’ve made a concerted effort to pay that forward,” Caldwell says, going on to hire SPEA students for Booz Allen Hamilton during her time there.
When Caldwell later became the executive director of Health for America—a nonprofit focused on patient-centered healthcare system — she contacted SPEA professor Kosali Simon when she needed to make a hire. Simon helped Caldwell find a candidate for the job with expertise in healthcare policy. For Caldwell, who has an interest and experience in the healthcare policy field but did not study it specifically, Simon provided a reading list.
That was not Caldwell’s first experience with mentorship —she considers IUAA Executive Director JT. Forbes a personal mentor. Caldwell was part of IUAA’s Student Alumni Association while in school and Forbes encouraged her continued involvement with IU as an alumna. Since graduating, Caldwell has served on the IUAA’s Executive Council and, when the IUAA set up the IUvisors platform, they asked for her insights. Since its inception, IUvisors has expanded beyond peer-to-peer interaction to also include alumni-to-student mentoring, as originally piloted by SPEA.
“I feel called to do that work,” Caldwell says of serving as a mentor and advisor, and her goal is to put her dedication into action – for fellow women, especially. Through IUvisors, she’s helped a SPEA undergraduate with her résumé, an elevator speech, and connected her with others at SPEA to help her with her career after school—all via phone or online.
“IUvisors fits into your life,” Caldwell says. “Students can reach out and there is a wide array of alums with advice on all the paths you can follow with your SPEA degree.”
If you are already on LinkedIn, adding IUvisors to your networking repertoire couldn’t be easier. IUvisors can import your LinkedIn data, but lets you add layers to make your network more IU-specific.
Based in Washington, D.C., with Health for America, Caldwell recently moved to San Francisco to serve as their strategic advisor upon the firm’s purchase by MedStar Health. In February of this year, she moved on from MedStar to start a new role with Jiff Health.
As her own career changes and grows, Caldwell plans to continue serving as a mentor. And, she knows from experience that if she should need advice, it’s as close as IUvisors. “Just ask if someone can talk to you,” Caldwell says, “You’ll get some of the biggest insights to boost your career.”