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Connecting with alumni

11:46 AM  Sep 13th, 2018
by Rose Rucoba ’19

For seniors, the reality of the inevitable — graduating and working in the real world — is becoming more pressing with each day.

The Alumni Association took a step towards making sure students were ready for life after UD at the Alumni Networking Mixer on Sept. 7. The mixer was part of the Alumni Leadership Conference, which brings nearly70 alumni volunteers back to campus for training and University updates.

The event started off with a panel discussion followed by a mixer, where students had the chance to interact with alumni.

Discussion topics included advice on how to prepare for a career while an undergraduate, stories about facing and overcoming workplace discrimination and encouraging words on how to stay curious and motivated after graduation.

In answering the question “What final pieces of advice do you have for students?” Jen Weed ’95, Alumni Association board of directors vice president of education, drove home the point of the power of networking and connections. She challenged students to broaden their idea of what networking means and to not be afraid to ask for help from people outside their field of study.

She gave the example that if a student was interested in going to Chicago, for instance, that meeting alumni from that area would help them reach their goal.

Weed advised: “Who cares about the industry? My friends are in hiring positions all across Chicago, all across the country, in all different industries. So come talk to me. How can I help you? I encourage you, before you leave here today, to ask someone to do something for you that’s going to help advance you in your career.”

After the panel discussion, alumni gathered at tables around the room categorized by industry, including: government, technology, education, sales, healthcare, and more.

Senior environmental biology major Celia Montemurri, attended the event and said the message of staying connected with people from the UD community stuck with her.

“Engaging with alumni was a very beneficial experience. Even though there was no one present representing my field of study in particular, I gained incredible advice about how to set myself up for success in my future career,” Montemurri said. “Plus, everyone was ready and willing to connect me with friends who work in my field of interest. Who knows? One of these alum’s friends might be my future employer.”

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