Brunch with a side of networking: CDC and alumni association connect sophomores to alums

Amy Collins, Staff Writer

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The 7th Annual “Career Connections & Experiences” sophomore brunch with alumni took place on Feb. 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Elaine Langone Center Terrace Room. The event was hosted by the University’s Career Development Center (CDC) along with the Alumni Association, and aimed to provide an opportunity for sophomore students to engage with University alumni. Emily Dietrich, Assistant Director of Career Services at the University’s Career Development Center, stated the importance of the event, as she said it “gives students the opportunity to meet with alumni face-to-face.” At this event, alumni shared their advice on networking and on what students can do now to prepare for their ideal career. Interacting with alumni also enabled students to actively build career connections to jump-start their futures.

This year’s event included approximately 90 students, 50 alumni association board members, and seven members of the parents’ board executive committee whom were also on campus over the weekend for board meetings. The event was moderated by Lynn Mull ’98, a strategy consultant and executive coach at Redwood Leadership Consulting. The panelists were Colin Hassell ’15, business analyst for Southwest Airlines in the technology department, Nisan Trotter ’05, author of “Born Gifted” and creator of The Born Gifted Community, and Kelly Manning ’18, a markets, innovation, and design major within the University’s college of management.

The afternoon event kicked off with a brunch accompanied by open discussion with alumni and/or parents at each table. Shari Aser ’98, Alumni Executive Chair and Career Advisor, gave remarks and then a panel discussion began, which was followed by brief remarks from the CDC. The last component of the event was entitled “Networking by College,” where alumni gathered near signs representing their college — Arts & Science, Management & Engineering — to network and speak with alumni in a one-on-one setting. Through these interactions, “this event not only connected students with alumni but also demonstrated the importance of networking, and proper etiquette,” Dietrich said.

“Being given the opportunity to speak with alumni was very worthwhile, because I was able to pick the brains and learn from the experiences of those who came before me,” Justin Kuo ’20 said.

The value of this opportunity was also felt by those who organized the event. “It was an amazing experience planning the sophomore brunch with my committee on the alumni association and seeing it come to life. It’s a great opportunity for sophomores to directly access alumni, their experiences in the working world, and see the Alumni network in action,” Manning said.

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