Over 50 Cabrini sophomore and junior communication majors gathered to meet with 11 alumni for the communication department’s 10th annual alumni mentoring event. It was held on March 17 in Grace Hall.
About five students sat around each table with an alumnus or alumna and exchanged resumes, portfolios and described their skill set they have practiced throughout their college experience. It was an intimate event in which the alumni critiqued their group member’s verbal presentation and resume while giving advice on how to effectively sell themselves to an employer.
It was a time for students to be open and ask any questions they may have had in order to help prepare them for any type of business setting they may embark on in the future. For the Cabrini alumni, it was a time to give back and prepare the students the way Cabrini prepared them.
A 2001 graduate and current director of student engagement and leadership at DeSales University expressed his gratitude and willingness to be a part of his fourth alumni mentoring event. “For me that is the most important thing, it is giving back to the Cabrini community,” Nick Luchko said. “This is what Cabrini is all about. This is what it gave to me. It gave so much to me; this is my way of giving back to the younger generation.”
While the alumni mentors were there for the needs of the students, some students were unaware of what to expect, yet grateful for the opportunity once it was over. “I expected a lot more people,” junior Ryan Charity said.
Charity believed that with a bigger crowd he would feel more comfortable. But with a close nit session his nerves went away and he realized it was better for him. “As we got to tables and started talking I got comfortable with the people at my table and the alumna [Kat LaHart],” Charity said. “It was helpful. She gave me some advice about going on interviews, what people are looking for and what the people in my job field, that I am looking to do, are doing.”
The event was a form of networking for the communication majors. Each alumni came ready with business cards and was looking for those students who were hungry to expand their knowledge about the interview process and the business world.
2003 graduate and Vice President of Marketing at Lincoln Financial Group, Michael Kazanjian was a testament to that. “I think it is incredible for the students to meet and start networking and building their professional networks while they are still in college,” Kanzanjian said. “That is not an opportunity that a lot of colleges give to their students.”
His message to the communication majors was to consistently pursue new relationships and to keep up with those relationships. “You look for the students that will engage with you most afterwards,” Kazanjian said. “They’ve got to want it.”
The students felt the support of the alumni including junior Aaron Henry. “It was nice to have alumni that are dedicated to Cabrini students that come back and give us advice on how we could benefit our future,” Henry said.
The theme continued to be networking and 2007 graduate Elizabeth Cooney chipped in on the idea as well. “Use the alumni network to your advantage,” Cooney said. “The key point here is networking, building relationships and that is going to be so key to getting into the next place and trying to land you that job.”
Cooney’s words had much substance to them, according to Henry, one of the students in her group, said that her specific advice stuck out to him. “Liz said that in an interview there might be questions you are not prepared for, like questions that you have to think about before you go,” Henry said. “Write them down, take notes about it and be ready.”