Inspiring Each Other

“Where could I be in 5 years?" Last fall the Communication Studies Association (CSA) student organization held an alumni panel event to help communication majors explore this question.

alumnistory.jpg

Back row (L-R): CSA students Rachel Brown, Mary Swenson, Erin Kroes, Christine Anderson, Alissa Maier. Front row (L-R): Nancy Peters, communications specialist, Fourth Judicial District in Minneapolis; Barbara Gaynor, corporate trainer, Boston Scientific; Lee Hutton, attorney, Lommen Abdo; Sam Chagani, product developer, Thomson Reuters. Not pictured: Darcy Pohlad, reporter, WCCO-TV News.

“Where could I be in 5 years?" Last fall the Communication Studies Association (CSA) student organization held an alumni panel event to help communication majors explore this question.

The CSA recruited six speakers, professionals in fields ranging from law to news media, with help from CLA’s alumni office. The alumni panelists shared their experiences with graduation, job searching, networking, and winding career paths.

Erin Kroes, a comm studies senior and president of the CSA, led the planning team for this event. “Organizing an event like this was new to me and the other CSA members" she says. “But we worked together as a group and gained real-world experience through the planning process. We had to set dates, find space, recruit speakers, coordinate with their schedules, and be prepared if things went wrong."

The event was a huge success. The alumni urged and inspired the student audience to get involved, be leaders, and network with professionals to stand out from other job seekers. “The experience has opened so many doors and allowed me to utilize everything I have learned in my major classes. This event gave us as a group the opportunity to help other students network and realize its importance in pursuing a career," Erin says.

The value of the event extended to the panelists, also. “Many alumni volunteers visit campus infrequently and don't know what to expect," says Erica Giorgi, CLA director of alumni relations. “These alumni volunteers were so impressed with the organization of the event and were delighted by the interest in their careers. Most of the panelists hung around to answer individual questions and engage with the students even after the event ended."

“The students were tremendous ambassadors to our alumni volunteers and the alumni seemed to walk away with a positive lasting impression—and a strong desire to help out again!"

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This page contains a single entry by cla published on January 21, 2009 5:22 PM.

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