More than 250 students met and mingled with many successful alumni in the eighth annual Career Networking Event on Wednesday, Feb. 20 in the UC ballroom.
The event was aimed to help students meet and chat with APSU alumni while gaining helpful career guidance.
The alumni professionals helped students better understand career paths and also offered useful ‘real world’ advice.
Rylan Kean, special events coordinator with APSU alumni relations, emphasized that the Career Networking Event was not a job fair but more of an opportunity for students to connect with APSU alumni.
“Its a great chance for students to meet successful professionals in their career field and get to know them, while getting to know the details of their potential career paths,” Kean said.
There were over 45 professionals from numerous fields, representing most of the majors offered at APSU. The successful alumni ranged from special agent forensic scientists and engineers to auctioneers, chiropractors and CEO’s, just to name a few.
Justin Darden, journalist and APSU alumnus, suggested to all the students he met that they should make as many contacts as they can, attempt to gain experience in the field and apply for as many jobs as possible.
Jackie Peterson, financial support specialist and APSU alumna, suggested that students should be proactive in their job search.
“Students should start looking for jobs in their career field sooner than their senior year,” said Peterson.
Wayne Taylor, real estate broker, auctioneer and APSU alumnus, found it very rewarding to come back to APSU and help students understand their career paths and goals.
Glen Glenn, special agent forensic scientist and APSU alumnus said, “I am very appreciative of the experiences I had at APSU and it was also a great experience to come back and help guide students to their career paths.”
The students in attendance learned valuable lessons to help them in their careers. Kyle Harrison, junior communications major, said the most important thing he learned at the event was the importance of networking and talking to as many people in his field as possible.
“After meeting several of the alumni, I learned that is very important to be flexible and open for anything when looking for a job,” said James Anderson, senior communications major. “This event allows students like me to get more info about career choices and expand their horizons.”
Meagen McKenzie, an undecided sophomore, said the event was insightful and helped guide her to officially declaring her major.
The career networking event also helped Mariel Tomes, communications senior, feel more confident about her career path and major.
“This was very helpful and it helps keep alumni involved in APSU,” Harrison said. “It mainly gives us students hope in success.”