Sophomore Brunch makes connections

Brianna Crichton, Staff Writer

The Career Development Center (CDC) and the Bucknell Alumni Board held the fourth annual Sophomore Career Options & Opportunities Brunch on Jan. 31.

Executive Director of Career Services Pamela Keiser, speaking on behalf of the CDC, said that this event’s goal is to serve as a learning experience tailored to meet the unique needs of sophomores. It helps second-year students meet alumni in a formal setting and supports open discussion about the working world within individual and group conversations.

“[The brunch] allows students to learn what fellow Bucknellians have accomplished with academic majors and degrees similar to their own,” Keiser said. “Alumni are very willing to share their stories and offer advice, suggestions, and what we refer to in the CDC as ‘pearls of wisdom.’  It’s quite valuable and often inspirational and motivating to students to hear from someone who has walked a similar path.”

Even beyond the information and personal connections being exchanged between alumni and students, the brunch sharpened the attendees’ networking and conversational skills, which Keiser calls “an art and etiquette” that needs practice to be executed successfully.

With approximately 165 students and 50 alumni present, the students in attendance were exposed to participants in a diverse set of fields with backgrounds in a varied assortment of majors. Fields represented include graphic design, media, finance, consulting, engineering, human resources, government, education, public service, law, retail, hospitality, travel, and technology. Unfortunately, those working in scientific research and medical careers were not able to attend due to scheduling difficulties. Given this absence, there will likely be a lunch in the spring for those interested in this area.

Prior to the event, the CDC gathered information from students about their majors and top career and industry preferences to match them with alumni who had similar interests. Given the clear attention to detail in planning, the response from student attendees was highly positive. Following the event, multiple students approached the organizers to comment on how helpful and beneficial the brunch was.

The event was a testament to the strength of the University’s alumni network as well as the potential that students have to use them as a resource.

Keiser closed with the reminder that “students should take advantage of any opportunity they have to meet and get to know alumni when they are back on campus to visit classes, speak with students, or participate in events like the Sophomore Brunch,” as their help is truly invaluable.

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