Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spring Break

It is spring (I suppose somewhere in the country it feels like spring) break for students. Some have left for tropical destinations to soak up the sun, others are out west skiing in the powdery conditions opposite of skiing in the east, many are participating in a week of service across the country and some have simply decided to get some R & R at home! No matter where they are the campus feels very empty without them.

My day-to-day activities do not typically involve lots of student interaction, with the exception of my work-study students. I work with the Founder’s Society and Student Association but that is usually after hours and yet I still feel their absence on campus. And no it is not because I now have a parking spot near my building. I think it is just a feeling, almost like a sigh or recognition that we have survived another winter and warmer days are coming. I also believe it is recognition that once the students are back we work at lightening speed until the end of the year. So we take this break to get ready for what is to come. For students this means projects, papers, presentations, the spring concert, P-Day of course and for seniors the end of a college career! This is a lot to pack into 8 weeks.

In the alumni office it is equally as busy, we are getting ready to welcome 500 new alumni into our ranks with the graduating class, we continue to engage current alumni planning events throughout the country, all while planning an all new reunion program! Reunion 2011 is all new, we think of it as P-Day revisited. There will be tents on the 300’s field, music, food and fun. This is a break from our traditional format of formal sit down dinners and dancing. P-Day is a tradition that spans the life of the college that all alumni are able to connect with. With this new program we hope to see new faces at reunion, friendships re-kindled and new memories made!

So, despite the mounds of snow still piled up outside this week really does mark the beginning of spring and with it the culmination of yet another year at Saint Michael’s.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Last semester, I spent much of my time reading, researching and writing about networking, for my thesis. I’m not talking about computer networking which is what I would sometimes get in my results after a Google search. I am talking about networking between people, the shaking hands, kissing babies kind. I was interested in examining the impact of online social networking on Saint Michael’s College’s graduate job and employment networking opportunities. What I learned was that while many alumni participate in online social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, they are still interested in networking opportunities with fellow alumni face-to-face. This would make sense since most online social networking users do not “friend” or “link” with someone they have never met. Online social networks are a great way to maintain relationships that have already been established. I know in my role in the alumni office I rely heavily to maintain contacts with alumni, whether classmates of mine or new acquaintances I have met since working in the office.

How have you maintained or re-connected with someone you once knew? Share your stories!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Helping People

Every year, for as long I am aware there has been a Career Planning and Networking Seminar in Boston. Other cities are more sporadic but they do happen (if you live in NYC and have space available please contact me).

This year's career planning and networking seminar reminded me what I enjoy most about my job, it is helping people! At this event I was able to connect current juniors and seniors with alumni who live and work in the Boston area for networking and career advice. I remember so clearly how daunting the career search process was, to have an alumni base willing and eager to help makes the idea of graduating and leaving the real world a little more tolerable. As the event wore on and moved into a social setting I witnessed the students networking with the alumni, asking questions and getting more advice. After the event I ran into one of the students who in the beginning seemed a little nervous and overwhelmed. She came up to me thanking me for providing her with such and opportunity and she felt much better about the idea of graduating.

It is moments like this, where I can hopefully ease the minds of students and even alumni that make me value my job and happy to be part of this community.