To empower students and alumni to live, learn, and work with meaning and purpose.


All Grinnellians leading lives of meaning and purpose.

Our Model

Career Communities: Whether students are just starting the exploration process or honing in on a particular profession, the CLS’s seven distinct Career Communities provide students specialized advising and programming designed to focus and connect their values, strengths, and interests to particular post-graduate goals and ambitions.

Global Fellowships and Awards: The Global Fellowships and Awards Team coaches and advises students and alumni through the reflection, application, and nomination processes for highly selective awards including the Watson, Truman, Fulbright, and other post-graduate awards and scholarships. 

Service and Social Innovation: The Service and Social Innovation Team offers advising for civic exploration as well as support for service and social innovation experiences such as volunteering, community-based learning courses, Service Learning Work-Study, Alternative Break service projects, and local social innovation projects and workshops.

Employer Engagement: The Employer Engagement Team develops, coordinates, and manages outreach and engagement activities to increase the volume, caliber, and diversity of internships, full-time employment, and other post-graduate opportunities for Grinnell students.

Core Values

Student-Centered: From individualized advising to large-scale programs, student growth and development is at the heart of everything we do. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: We continually strive to ensure the CLS is a place where ALL stakeholders are welcomed, heard, valued, and supported as agents of their own futures.

Expertise: We are a team of individuals with distinct backgrounds, strengths, skills, and knowledge. And, like our students, we are dynamic learners who are continuously growing and developing. 

Collaboration: Fostering mutually beneficial partnerships with our stakeholders — students, alumni, staff, faculty, recruiters, community partners, foundations, families — is essential to realizing our mission. 

Innovation: Inspiring growth and transformation through ideation, experimentation, action, and critical reflection.

Learning Objectives

CLS advising, programming, and events will help students develop their abilities in one or more of the following learning objectives:

  • Engage in self-reflection to identify their values, strengths, and interests and to foster an understanding of how they evolve.
  • Develop the ability to distill and apply their observations and discoveries to refine and guide their goals.
  • Acquire the experiences, knowledge, and skills to clarify and pursue meaningful post-graduate pathways.
  • Learn to present themselves effectively and persuasively—including their values, strengths, and qualifications—to an array of audiences.
  • Learn how to identify—as well as cultivate and manage relationships with—stakeholders who can inform and support their professional, personal, and civic development.
  • Develop the ability to assess the ethical, societal, and/or professional implications of their choices and actions.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Principles

The CLS continually strives to incorporate the following diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) principles into our work with one another as well as our diverse stakeholders.

  • Practice Self Awareness
  • Build Relationship Trust
  • Recognize Oppression and Act
  • Seek Liberatory Collaboration
  • Exercise Creative Courage


Handshake: Handshake is Grinnell’s online platform for finding jobs and internships, making appointments with advisers, and registering for CLS events. Students use their Grinnell username and password to log in. Once logged in, students can customize their experience by completing their profile and adding career interests.