As undergrads, many of us are just barely being labeled “adults” due to our age. It is intimidating to try and decide what we want to do with our lives after school at this early stage of adulthood. The notion of the “real world” can still feel like another planet for many of us. In trying to assuage anxieties about transitioning into this new chapter, the Career Development Center partnered with the Geneseo Opportunities for Leadership Development program to host the Career Connections Brunch on Saturday Oct. 18. This event occurs every year on the weekend of homecoming. The purpose of the Career Connections Brunch is to bring Geneseo alumni together with current students to aid them in figuring out which fields may interest them.
About 100 people attended this year’s event—15 alumni and about 85 students. The brunch was structured with 13 tables set up, with one or two alumni per table along with six or seven students. There were a wide variety of fields represented by the alumni including financial, education, nonprofit fundraising, dentistry and many more.
Upon entering the event, students received a packet of information about various alumni members. This included details like the alumni’s major/minor, current employer and position, as well as a short description of their job. The end of the packet also had career advice that each alumni gives for students. The students are also given a sheet from the CDC, offering tips on how to present one’s self in a professional manner and making the most of the brunch.
“This networking event is to give students the experience of networking in a real world setting,” CDC counselor Heather DiFino said. DiFino emphasized that this event is focused on giving students peace of mind when figuring out their future career plans.
There were three rounds of networking during the brunch. The first round was blind; students sat down at a random table without knowing the alumni. This first round gave students a chance to talk to someone in a field that they might otherwise not have thought to speak with. During the next two rounds, students were able to pick which alumni they wanted to talk to based on their career interests.
This event is not only beneficial for students, but also alumni. Alumni are given the chance to directly give back to the college while interacting with current students. They are able to help students decide what careers interest them, something that every one of them has had to do at some point.
If you were not able to attend this networking event, there is another event on Nov. 18. This will take place at the Big Tree Inn from 5-7 p.m. and will include alumni as well as staff. Students can sign up for this event on the GOLD website.