During the 2019 D.C. Career Trek, students had many opportunities to network with IU alumni and employees from the various companies that they visited. Through events such as Career Round Tables and an Alumni Networking Mixer, students learned valuable information to help them prepare for the future.
Along with that, they also learned about how valuable networking can be. Networking is an important tool in the professional world. It gives you the opportunity to seek knowledge and advice from experts in your field. Establishing these relationships sooner rather than later can help with future opportunities. You can find out how to relocate for a career, arrange job shadowing, prepare for interviews, explore career pathways and much more.
Payton Goodman said it perfectly:
“Meeting alumni can be especially helpful in landing that dream internship or job position. Since IU has one of the largest alumni connection groups, I highly recommend reaching out to anyone who lives in the area you would like to work or in the position you wish to have. The Trek leaders did any amazing job of connecting everyone to helpful and eager alum.”
Zijia Cao gained a lot of knowledge from the Career Round Tables.
“The site visit is beneficial for my future career plan, I also gained a lot from round tables. Alumni answered all questions we had towards their jobs. Round tables help us better understand the work they are doing and think about whether we are willing to do the same job after graduation.”
Many students thought the Alumni Networking Mixer was extremely helpful. Blake Clifford really enjoyed the time he spent at the mixer. He mentioned that hearing this information from people who were in his shoes just a few years ago made a big difference.
“It was extremely fascinating to hear from Alum about not only their experiences at IU but also their successes post-graduation. They were all so friendly and helpful when it came to answering questions about their current jobs, past jobs, and recommendations on educational and career decisions. I think many people of our generation rely heavily on the internet to obtain similar information. However, I think that this information is better coming from the mouths of people who were in our shoes only a few years ago; they were all IU students at one point in time and they can truly speak to what it is like to be in the workforce with an IU degree and accurately articulate how their experiences at IU have helped them throughout their careers thus far.”
Many students said their favorite people to network with were IU alumni. Ariel Creal said meeting and talking with an IU alum was the best part of her trip.
“Tuesday night was the highlight of my trip because I met Howard “Skip” Elliott who actually majored in forensic science/criminal and it was good to get an insight and to see what option he took when he graduated from undergrad. Our conversation was definitely an opener because I found that I can advance in so many ways.”
But the networking and relationships these students built in D.C. doesn’t have to end after the trip! Students can stay connected to IU alumni and connect with others through the Walter Center Success Network.
The Walter Center Success Network is a professional networking platform for the College of Arts + Sciences. By joining WCSN, you will be able to make connections with Hoosiers in your industry or city, share career advice or gain insights from experienced professionals, and access career development resources.
Join the WCSN by clicking here!