Networking, making connections, and contacting alumni is consistently emphasized throughout our Denison careers. Many times students will complain about not having particular resources but when the resources come to campus, students don’t utilize them to their fullest potential. Yes, there are some students who are taking full advantage of the advice offered through the office of Career Exploration & Development.
However, there are other students, who, during their time at Denison, don’t attend any of the events offered to gain the necessary tools needed during the preparation process for life after Denison. The concept of networking is critical because, if done correctly , it could benefit your future.
Nonetheless, this past weekend, we had Big Red Weekend with an enormous amount of alumni who returned to campus to offer words of wisdom and guidance to current students.
Yet, there were some alums who felt that some current students have no respect for them. One alum posed a question: “Why should we come back if you’re not going to take advantage and learn from us? How we made it to where we are and how you can be better prepared for after college.”
It makes sense doesn’t it? Why should they waste their time coming back if we aren’t going to ask them questions? Many alum regret that they had not taken advantage of those opportunities to connect with alum or work with CE&D because there were some obstacles they had to face, which they felt could have possibly been avoided with one conversation.
Having a conversation only for what you can extract rather than the knowledge you can gain. The mentality of having a conversation driven by personal goals is meaningless.
A suggestion CE&D offers students provides guidance on how to approach an alum. Yes, they are willing to assist you but your approach is everything, whether it’s via email or in person. You can’t think you know everything as a student preparing for graduation when you don’t have the slightest clue of your plans after Denison.
As students, our approach should be as learners, who want to learn how Denison Alumni have arrived to where they are and what we can do to be successful in our own individual career paths.
It’s really true what you learn as a first-year student: ask questions, make connections, and get involved. All of these components work together to create the college experience.
We ask questions as a form of obtaining knowledge, making connections will provide you with the opportunities to expand your horizons and try something new, and getting involved will equip you will skills and bring forth talent that you did not realize you possessed.
We have to understand that everything happens for a response. No, we don’t have to be goal driven.
However, if we put forth the effort as active learners, our future will not be seen as much of a burden; but something that will work itself out because the hard work has been done for the past four years.