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Professional in Residence

For Students

The Professional in Residence program allows Rockefeller College students to engage with professionals in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors who share their expertise and insight.  Professionals participate in brown bag discussions and offer individual coaching sessions with students to provide practical advice regarding career paths.  Students may network with professionals with the hope of expanding their professional network and learning the skills they need for career success.

The Professional in Residence program is held weekly on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, and features a brown bag lunch discussion where students can ask questions regarding the professional's career path or regarding their organization/industry, followed by individual meeting times with the professional.

What is the purpose of the Professional in Residence program?  Why should I participate?
The Professional in Residence program allows you to network with professionals who can give you career advice.  You can ask questions of someone who is actually working in the field and learn more about different career paths.  By expanding your network and speaking with someone in the field, you can get insight into your career path and learn strategies on how to succeed. 

How do I register?
Students can register for both the brown bag lunch and individual advising appointments via Handshake.  

Is this a job interview?
NO!  The program is meant to connect students with professionals in the field to make you better prepared for the world of work after graduation.  You should not be asking the professional for a job and s/he is strictly there to provide professional advice and answer their questions.  You are NOT allowed to ask for a job or assistance in finding a job.  This is simply an opportunity to learn about different career paths and receive professional advice.

What should I wear?
Dress for success!  You should choose attire that represents you appropriately; therefore, a suit is preferred, but business casual attire is acceptable as well.  It is unacceptable to wear jeans, shorts, t-shirts and other casual attire. 

What should I bring with me?
You should bring a list of prepared questions that you would like to ask the professional.  In addition, you can bring a copy of resume and/or cover letter if you would like the professional to review them.  If you have a business card, you may bring those with you as well.

How many students can participate?
Up to 10 students can attend the brown bag lunch session. There is space for up to 6 students to meet individually with the professional, depending upon availability of the professional. Students may attend both the brown bag lunch and the individual advising session.

What is the difference between the brown bag lunch discussion and the individual advising sessions?
The brown bag lunch discussion is an opportunity for the professional to discuss his/her career path, professional accomplishments, and share general advice.  The individual advising sessions are one-on-one opportunities for a student to ask questions of the professional that pertain to your specific situation.  See a sample list of questions to ask at the brown bag discussion and an individual advising appointment. 

What should I do in advance to prepare for the meeting?
First, review the biography of the professional in residence.  You may also connect to him/her on LinkedIn and read his/her profile.  You are also advised to conduct some research on the organization where they work.

Where will the events be held? 
The events will be held on both the uptown and the downtown campuses, depending upon the professional's expertise. Information on the location of each session is available on the Professional in Residence homepage.

My plans have changed and I can no longer attend, what should I do? 
Up to 2 days ahead of time, you can change your reservation status on Handshake.  Cancelling with less than 2 days notice is unacceptable and you will not be allowed to register for future Professional in Residence programs.  If you have an extenuating circumstance that necessitates cancellation within 2 days prior to the session, please email  

What is the waiting list and why am on it?
The Professional in Residence program is limited to a certain number of students. Only 10 students may attend the brown bag lunch discussion and up to 6 students may attend the individual advising sessions. It may not be possible to accommodate all students who would like to attend. In the event that there are not enough spots, students may sign up for the wait list. If there are cancellations students will receive an email from the Rockefeller College Office of Career Development. Students may also virtually participate in the brown bag lunch discussion. Click here for a connection and troubleshooting guide for attending virtually.