June 23 2017

Success Story: Talent Connect Helps Spouse of The Sage Colleges New Archivist Right Career Path with Job at RPI

In January 2016, Kelly Grant started working as The Sage Colleges’ archivist/reference librarian. She came to the Troy college from Louisiana State University. At the time, her husband, Andrew (Andy) Larson, was also working at a Baton Rouge institution: Southern University, where he was an applied music teacher. As Andy prepared to join Kelly in the Capital Region, he recognized his lack of a professional network here would pose challenges to his plans to continue teaching music.

“Any time you do a cross-county move, it’s nerve wracking,” Andy said.

In June 2016, Andy made that cross-country move. Upon arriving to the region, he accepted a sales/service job at a Saratoga Springs bike shop. However, a month before Andy made that move, Joanne Bucher, the program manager of Talent Connect, called Andy as Sage’s investment in the Center for Economic Growth (CEG) made him eligible for New Hire Navigation services that included career support for a spouse or partner.

Joanne discussed with Andy his career goals, and over the next several months she sent to him job postings that aligned with his career aspirations. As Andy looked for employment that better fit his skillset, Joanne also helped him make connections to other musicians in the area and referred the couple to area restaurants serving Southern cuisine.

In January 2017, through his own initiative, Andy secured an adjunct music teaching position at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. While he managed to get back into teaching music, he also wanted to become more involved in providing students with academic advising, as he had done at Southern University. He had greatly enjoyed learning students’ needs and guiding them on a path to achieve their goals. Whenever Joanne found a job posting for a student advisor position, she shared it with Andy. She also arranged for him informational interviews with student advisement department heads at University at Albany and Skidmore College.

Earlier this year Talent Connect notified Andy about an opening for a senior student services academic position at Rensselaer and encouraged him to apply. He did, and then Joanne reached out to a contact at the university’s human resources department and brought his résumé to their attention.

“That’s when things started rolling for me,” Andy said.

In the end, Talent Connect ended up providing Andy with the networking connections that he had lacked when he came to the Capital Region. After a series of interviews, Rensselaer offered him the position last May. Less than a year after moving cross country, Andy is back on a satisfying career path. He enjoys visiting Peebles Island State Park, which is within walking distance of his Waterford home, and hiking in the Adirondacks.

All CEG members have access to Talent Connect services. To schedule a New Hire Navigation, or to learn how Talent Connect can help your business attract or retain skilled workers, call Program Manager Joanne Bucher at 518-465-8975, ext.222 or email her at joanneb@ceg.org. Learn more about Talent Connect here

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