Strengthening Connections & Careers

Gap Inc.’s This Way ONward Alumni Development Program partners with CoLabL to expand alumni networks, skills, and opportunities while strengthening diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The Gap Inc.’s This Way ONward program is creating hundreds of internship opportunities for young leaders in communities across North America, and they are investing in the continued development and growth of alumni as they assume part-time and full-time roles with the company. The Alumni Development Program has been co-created with CoLabL to support alumni in expanding their networks, skills, and access to career building opportunities.

Launched in the Spring, we hosted three ONward Connections events with alumni and Gap Inc. employee volunteers serving as career mentors. We covered topics ranging from growth mindset to goal setting and navigating change to networking through small and large group interactive activities and discussions plus facilitated panel discussions with Gap Inc. leaders from diverse functional areas.

Over 6 weeks, we facilitated a customized Talent Accelerator experience for alumni to engage in weekly project-based learning challenges focused on areas such as customer service, analyzing competition, retail store design, and team leadership. Alumni engaged in weekly upskilling workshops and mentoring sessions that developed their confidence, raised their awareness of career pathways, and created an experience to present their creative ideas and share feedback with each other. The overall experience culminated in a 2-minute promotional pitch where alumni shared why they should be considered for growth opportunities.

One such growth opportunity is starting in July when we will engage alumni graduates of the Talent Accelerator in a 2-month Breakthrough Mentoring program. They will be matched 1:1 with career mentors from Gap Inc. and meet every other week for coaching and mentoring sessions that support the development of a short and longer-term career plan.

In the words of an alum—” It was a great experience that I hope many others have the chance to do.” This is the type of endorsement that illustrates we are on the right path! A special thank you to Sherrica Hill and the Gap Foundation team for their investment in these young leaders!

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