Practice Makes Perfect: Students Network with Alums at Career Month

Published: May 16, 2018

(UMBC alumni networking at Sweeten Up Your Network event)

UMBC alumni network at Sweeten Up Your Network eventIf you could do it all over again, what would you tell your younger self?

This is the concept behind “Interview an Alum,” a new initiative designed by the UMBC Alumni Board of Directors (AABOD) and the UMBC Career Center. During Career Month 2018, current students and alumni came together to network and discuss their academic journeys, career aspirations, and, at times, uncertainties.

“Even as a college senior, I’m not entirely sure what I would like to do with my degree,” admitted Casey Dahlgren, a senior majoring in business technology administration. “So, getting different perspectives on that seemed like it could help.”

In all, AABOD volunteers conducted 20 interviews as part of Interview an Alum during Career Month.

Sharing Networking Experience

“Interview an Alum gives us an opportunity to practice inclusive excellence by sharing what we have learned — sometimes the hard way — so that our current students can benefit from our experiences,” said AABOD President John Becker ’01, information systems management. “I am full of pride in my alma mater, and I have always felt like I should be helping our future professionals the way I was helped when I attended UMBC.”

Geeta Shanbhag, a senior majoring in media and communication studies, interviewed with two different alumni. “One that addressed my major in media and communications, and one that addressed my legal policy minor and my potential interest in law and public policy,” she said. “It was amazing.”

Alumni volunteers agreed with that sentiment. “I found the experience rewarding,” said alumna Andrea Thomson ’11, economics and political science. “I was able to connect with a current student. She asked a lot of intelligent questions and I was able to help her frame and think through her professional narrative, i.e., how her past experiences make her a good fit for the field she is hoping to pursue.”

— Bobby Lubaszewski Jr. ‘10

Pictured: Sweeten Up Your Network, another Career Month networking activity, brought alumni and students together in April.

Read more UMBC impact stories here.

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