The NC State University Career Development Center values the career development of every student. Students Moving Forward (SMF) is an independent career-focused program created by two NC State University staff members, and specifically designed for NC State students who identify as “autistic, ‘having’ Asperger’s, and/or being on the autism spectrum.” Each fall and spring semester, we engage our students in career readiness competencies and connect them with employers who value neurodiversity. Students do not need to have an official diagnosis of autism to join and may take part on an as-needed basis.
What We Do
The mission of SMF is to:
- Provide evidenced-based career guidance for students who are autistic/on the autism spectrum.
- Cultivate belongingness and a sense of community for students while strengthening their social and professional capital.
- Increase the rate of our students earning and successfully navigating degree-related (paid) internships and full-time post-graduate opportunities.
During the fall and spring semesters, students participate in a total of 10 group meetings (five per semester). Each meeting focuses on a specific topic and frequently hosts guest speakers from various industries and organizations actively supporting neurodiversity.
Students are also connected with the SMF Professional Advisory Board, a collaborative of local professionals who all identify as autistic and work in a wide range of professions including biotechnology, executive leadership, engineering, law, finance, social science research, and more.
SMF is a free program for all NC State University students and recent alumni.
**All SMF meetings for Fall 2021 will be virtual**
Each meeting is 90-minutes in length and will cover a specific topic relevant to career readiness.
Fall 2021 Meeting Schedule:
- Tuesday, Sept. 14th @ 7pm – 8pm**
- Wednesday, Sept. 29th @ 12pm – 1pm**
- Tuesday, October 19th @ 6pm – 7:30pm (topic TBA)
- Tuesday, October 26th @ 6pm – 7:30pm (topic TBA)
- Tuesday, November 9th @ 6pm – 7:30pm (topic TBA)
If you not have previously registered for SMF, please take our brief registration survey at go.ncsu.edu/smf-sign-up
**These meetings are joint sessions with Duke and other colleges and universities throughout the state as part of the Career Readiness Series: Career Fair Preparation and Follow Up. Our focus will be on the upcoming 2021 North Carolina Autistic Career Summit.
Students Moving Forward is fortunate to have established partnerships and support from organizations such as such as SAS, the UNC TEACCH® Autism Program, and the LiNC-IT internship program.
As a member of Students Moving Forward, our students will have direct contact and multiple interactions with recruiters and industry leaders from across NC. In addition, we welcome new partnerships and are always interested to speak with reputable organizations serious about creating workplaces and cultures that are true reflections of neurodiversity.
Professional Advisory Board
Students, like all of us, directly benefit from interactions and mentorship from people with shared identities and interests. Decoding the world of work can be confusing for all of us, and being neurodivergent does not make it any easier. For this reason, Students Moving Forward incorporates a Professional Advisory Board of local Autistic professionals from a range of careers and organizations to help advise and mentor students.
Registration is Live!
September 23rd & September 24th from 9:30am – 5:30pm
Where: Zoom & Career Fair Plus
To register, view the agenda for each day, and see more details about sessions and keynote speakers, please visit our landing page for the summit: go.ncsu.edu/2021-career-summit
The North Carolina Autistic Career Summit connects students & professionals seeking degree-related (paid) internships and full-time opportunities with employers who are hiring & seeking to create (or maintain) work environments supporting neurodiversity. Speakers at the summit reflect the diversity of the autistic community and 85% or more of all speakers identify as “autistic, being on the autism spectrum, or as ‘having’ Asperger’s.”
North Carolina Excellence in Leadership Award
During the 2020 summit, a new tradition began. Two North Carolina students (one at East Carolina University, and one at Forsyth Technical Community College) won the inaugural North Carolina Excellence in Leadership Awards. This award is for students who “demonstrate a drive and commitment to increasing access to quality employment opportunities for autistic students/professionals, educating local communities about autism to help increase autism acceptance, and/or working to establish an overall greater well-being for autistic students/people.”
Know a North Carolina student who demonstrates excellence in leadership as described above? Nominate them for this award here!
This year, we are including two sessions specifically designed for parents/guardians. It does not matter what age your child is, if you are the parent/guardian of a child who is on the autism spectrum, we designed these sessions for you.
The Career Fair
The career fair portion of the summit is during the afternoon block on both days, starting at 3:30pm and lasting until 5:30pm.
Students, alumni, and employers will use the Career Fair Plus platform to schedule 10-minute meetings and discuss degree-related (paid) internships or full-time opportunities.
In 2019 and 2020, the career portion of the summit has included employers such as SAS, IBM, the State of North Carolina, GSK, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Ultranauts, EY, Credit Suisse, NetApp, Allscripts, Bank of America, and more! There is a $50 fee per day for employers who register for the career fair portion of the summit.
Questions About Attending the Summit or Sponsorship?
Please reach out to Wesley Wade via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are a student, staff/faculty, employer, or a parent with additional questions concerning Students Moving Forward, please contact Wesley Wade at email@example.com
A Note on Language
SMF predominantly uses identity-first language language in support of the neurodiversity paradigm, which promotes autonomy and social justice for all people who are neurodivergent. To understand more about identity-first language, please read this statement from the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN).
SMF values and respects the preferred language of all students, staff/faculty, and those engaging with the program.