Beyond Barnard has celebrated five successful years and is ready to take its work to the next level. With the students, faculty, staff, graduates, employers, and other partners, the office is charting a new path forward. The aim is to better support students’ professional journeys from the moment they step on campus, throughout their four years at the College, and across their careers as alumnae. Take a look at what’s in store for Beyond Barnard in the next five years.
Expanding Access to Meaningful Opportunities
Since Beyond Barnard was founded in 2018, recent graduates have secured positions at more than 1,000 companies and more than 100 different graduate institutions. In the coming years, the office will increase access to work and graduate school opportunities even more by engaging 2,000 new students and alumnae each year. They also hope to generate more funding for programs like the Accelerated 4+1 Pathways, which allows students to combine a bachelor’s degree at Barnard with a master’s degree at Columbia University.
“Beyond Barnard spent its first five years working to become a deeply ingrained part of the Barnard experience,” said A-J Aronstein,Aassistant Vice president and Senior Advisor to the provost. “In the next five years, a critical step toward building on those foundations will be to ensure that we continuing to emphasize equity in access to life-changing opportunities.”
As part of this effort, Beyond Barnard will liaise closely with offices and departments across campus — including Access Barnard.
“I am excited by the collaborative partnership with Access Barnard,” said Nikki Youngblood Giles, Vice Dean of the College, Campus Life. “This promises to continue the work of original research, internship discovery, and preparation for global experiences for all of our student and alumnae communities.”
Funding Internships and Research
One of the hallmarks of Beyond Barnard is its impressive and ever-evolving internship program. In the next five years, the office is making an ambitious commitment to ensure that every student who enrolls at Barnard will have the chance to pursue a funded internship or research opportunity during their time at the College.
“Hands-on professional experiences — on campus or off — are essential for exploring possible pathways and gaining skills for what comes next,” said Christine Valenza Shin ’84, interim executive director of Beyond Barnard. “Beyond Barnard’s commitment to expanding funded opportunities gives all students the option to apply to and take on a position they want, not just ones that directly pay.”
“This is a huge investment in our community,” added Aronstein, “and reflects our commitment to deepen the distinctive support we provide to help students take the skills they’re learning in the classroom and bring them out into the world.”
The GroWing the Arts summer internship program makes a double impact: on the student, who has the opportunity to professionalize their passion for the arts, and another on the hosting arts organization, which benefits from a dedicated and intelligent Barnard intern.
Deepening Connections With Partners
Many successful endeavors stem from strong partnerships, and Beyond Barnard will continue to strengthen its existing ones into the future. GRoW @ Annenberg, which connects students to arts organizations in and around New York City, is just one example.
Barnard’s chair and professor of dance Paul A. Scolieri — who co-directs the GRoWing the Arts internship program with Joan Snitzer, senior lecturer in art history and co-chair and director of visual arts
— is looking forward to fostering more opportunities for students interested in the arts and building a network of support for future generations.
“The GroWing the Arts summer internship program makes a double impact: on the student, who has the opportunity to professionalize their passion for the arts, and another on the hosting arts organization, which benefits from a dedicated and intelligent Barnard intern,” said Scolieri.
Beyond Barnard will also continue to strengthen its collaboration with Bridgewater Associates, which has partnered with the College since 2021. The New Pathways Bridgewater Scholars Program, set to unfold over the next four years, provides access to a range of mentorship opportunities for young women pursuing academic studies in economics, math, statistics, and computer science.
“Our goal for the New Pathways Scholars program has been to increase diversity in finance by encouraging more women to pursue careers in the industry,” said Jay Baeza, Bridgewater’s head of diversity, equity, and inclusion. “It has been a joy to partner with Barnard on a program that provides professional development and financial support for students studying economics, math, statistics, and computer science.”
Bolstering Mentorship Opportunities
Creating meaningful engagements with alumnae will continue to be at the core of Beyond Barnard’s work. The College’s accomplished graduates are also often Beyond Barnard mentors. To increase mentorship opportunities and alumnae reach, the office will combine Barnard Connect, Mentors-in-Residence, and the Executive Mentoring Program under one umbrella. Its goal is to expand the network of alumnae mentors to 10,000 by fall 2026.
“Beyond Barnard’s work with alums has grown substantially — and it will only continue to grow as more graduates have a touchpoint with Beyond Barnard during their time at the College,” said Aronstein.
As for the budding professionals who are still on campus, Sam Leahy ’23, a peer career advisor, shares her observations about the unofficial peer-to-peer mentoring that takes place between students. “Since joining the team in the fall of 2021, I’ve continued to see the impact that students meeting with other students has on demystifying and making less intimidating the process of applying for jobs and internships,” said Leahy. “Working as an advisor has been a privilege in how it gives me the opportunity to remind students how capable and prepared they are and affirm them in the work they’ve already done.”
As Beyond Barnard continues to innovate and forge new success paths into the future, the office’s mission to connect students and alumnae to meaningful opportunities is as important today as it was when they opened in 2018.