Sean McGowan

Sean McGowan

Director of Employer Relations, Carnegie Mellon University

Sean McGowan serves as the Director of Employer Relations at Carnegie Mellon University’s Career & Professional Development Center. His leadership has been pivotal in enhancing the employer experience through a consultative strategy and embracing a campus-wide synergy regarding employer relations. Recently returning to CMU post-pandemic, Sean has focused on uncovering the pain points of early talent acquisition professionals and understanding the high-value services a career center needs to provide in a post-COVID world. Sean is a “boomerang” in relation to Carnegie Mellon, having taken a hiatus from the University from 2021 to 2023 to develop the employer engagement strategy as the Head of Employer Engagement for the EdTech company, “ThriveDX”.

Before his roles at CMU and ThriveDX, Sean gained experience at George Mason University, where he cut his teeth in the career center. Under their innovative leadership, his passion for career development grew as he delved into the tech industry and coached students in the School of Engineering and Technology. Sean holds a Master’s Degree in Student Affairs and Higher Education and a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication. His diverse skill set extends to thinking outside the box in digital and social media marketing, which he applies to his work in education. If you’re not already following Sean on LinkedIn, you should—it’s an opportunity you won’t regret!

Sean is deeply committed to connecting talent with opportunity beyond the university campus. Building relationships lies at the core of his success. He has played an instrumental role in forging partnerships that benefit workforce development programs and regional development organizations. Sean’s involvement with the Allegheny Conference and the Pittsburgh Passport Program has facilitated connections between hundreds of CMU students and local employers over the past four years. As a regular conference speaker, Sean’s presentations and thought pieces blend humor, data-driven insights, and personal experiences, inspiring attendees to weave actionable tactics into their work with students, employers, and clients.

After hours, Sean’s passion for photography and videography shines through his co-ownership of “D&M Industrial Productions & Sean Patrick Photography.” As an FAA Certified Drone Pilot, his artistic endeavors have produced captivating visual narratives, landscapes, and artwork across western Pennsylvania. This creative spirit extends to his personal life, where he cherishes moments with his young son, Jackson, daughter, Maisy, and wife, Bri, in their home just outside of Pittsburgh, PA.

1:30 PM (PDT) - 2:15 PM (PDT)
Blackjack Stage

StreetWise | Strong Recruiting Partnerships are Good for Everyone’s Business

Join a dynamic conversation between representatives from industry, campus and a workforce non-profit organization, as we unpack what successful talent recruiting partnerships look like, where to find them, and how they can benefit your firm’s bottom line.