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Sarah Preuschl Anderson
IU Alumni Association

Last modified: Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Career expert Dowd-Higgins joins IU Alumni Association as director of professional enrichment

Aug. 13, 2013

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Caroline Dowd-Higgins, an Indiana University alumna and nationally known career expert, has been hired to activate the power of the IU alumni network as the Indiana University Alumni Association's director of professional enrichment.

Caroline Dowd-Higgins

Caroline Dowd-Higgins

Print-Quality Photo

As director, Dowd-Higgins leads an expanded alumni career enhancement and leadership development program. With 13 years of expertise in the field, she will spearhead the development of a multi-year plan for career enhancement programming and oversee intensive market research. She will also lead a team in developing both online and in-person events and leadership development initiatives.

Graduates from all campuses and across the IU enterprise will benefit from these new initiatives, which will leverage partnerships with established IU-owned and affiliated firms already operating in the career coaching and development space.

"This is a key step toward IU's plan to offer both a world-class education and a powerful global network of alumni who back one another throughout their lives," said J Thomas Forbes, IU Alumni Association executive director and CEO.

The creation of this position follows intensive research, including a yearlong independent study of the IU Alumni Association's existing career services model and those of peer institutions and a comprehensive alumni attitudes study conducted in 2011.

The IU Alumni Association's deepened commitment to delivering on career enrichment is also fueled by global job trends. In 2010, college graduates worldwide entered career fields that did not exist in 2004. By leveraging its global network of 580,000 graduates, the IU Alumni Association will position alumni for success in this dynamic, global economy.

"With a focus on the powerful global network of IU alumni, I want to create a culture of professionals who become catalytic connectors in the career arena," Dowd-Higgins said. "This is an incredible opportunity to provide innovative resources that will distinguish IU alumni as extraordinary professionals in a competitive career marketplace."

"Caroline is the perfect leader to move IU forward and mobilize alumni to help one another navigate successfully in the global economy," Forbes said. "She is accomplished and proven in the career and professional development field. We are thrilled to have her aboard."

Dowd-Higgins arrives at the IU Alumni Association following a role as IU Maurer School of Law's director of career and professional development. In addition to her work in higher education, she is a sought-after author, columnist, executive coach, media host and national speaker.

She authored the book and maintains the blog, "This Is Not the Career I Ordered," which showcases her savvy professional development advice and stories of women thriving after a career transition or reinvention. In 2014, she will host a three-part special based on her book that will air nationally on PBS.

She regularly contributes to The Huffington Post, CNNMoney and More magazine and hosts Career Coach Caroline, a weekly national broadcast on CBS Radio.

Dowd-Higgins earned a bachelor's degree and master's degree in music from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. As a testimony to the power of transferable skills, before establishing her consulting practice, Dowd-Higgins worked as a professional opera singer in Europe and the United States. Her many years singing on the professional stage helped her hone the fine art of self-promotion, personal branding and stage presence.

She lives in Bloomington with her husband, C. David Higgins, an IU alumnus and professor emeritus at the IU Jacobs School of Music.