It’s difficult for many of us to imagine having an extra hour in our day to talk to a student about their career. That’s exactly what alumni and community professionals did on November 14, 2012 at the Zeitgeist Atrium in downtown Duluth during UMD Networking Night. UMD juniors and seniors were invited to mingle, network, and seek career advice from area professionals and alumni who were anxious to let the students know that they can find successful careers in Duluth.
Over 80 professionals were on hand to share their knowledge of the working world and to offer advice to those about to embark down their career path. Over half of the professional attendees were UMD graduates themselves. From graphic design to medicine technology, a wide variety of careers were represented. Corporate presidents, a city councilor, engineers, accountants, and a physician are just a few examples of the professionals who took time out of their busy day to connect with UMD’s juniors and seniors.
“It’s not always about what you know, it’s about who you know. You never know when someone you met in passing or as an acquaintance of a friend will become that key to a potential career opportunity,” said Mary Gallet, the Employer Relations Coordinator and Testing Coordinator in UMD’s Career Services Office.
Students and professionals were able to identify similar career fields by matching the color coding on one another’s name tags. This offered a way in which to find and speak with someone with similar career interests. Past Networking Night student attendees walked away saying that while they learned key information about their desired career areas from those already working successfully in them, they also picked up helpful pointers from professionals working in a completely different fields.
“It wasn’t just a networking night for the students. It also turned out to be a good networking opportunity for me, too,” said Gary Holquist, Director of Development for Intercollegiate Athletics, further hitting home the idea that knowing how to network with fellow professionals is a lifelong skill for one’s career.
The UMD Alumni Association and Career Services teamed up to bring both professionals/alumni and students together. The event was completely underwritten by Liberty Mutual Insurance, a benefits partner of the UMD Alumni Association.