Alumni panel discusses problems, gives advice

The Professional Edge Center and Student Affairs invited University of Indianapolis alumni to speak to students in a panel discussion on Sept. 29 in UIndy Hall A.

Panelists Trevor Cox, ’13, DyNishia Miller, ’14, Addelyn Ratliff, ’14, Susan Decker, ’07, and Kevin Good, ’07, spoke on resumes, entrepreneurship, LinkedIn and other social networking sites and how UIndy prepared them for their future.

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The alumni panel poses for a picture at the discussion on held on Sept. 29 in UIndy Hall A. During the event, they discussed things such as how to prepare for graduation and the future. Photo by Abigail Spencer

The central theme of the discussion was to network and connect. All of the UIndy alumni spoke about how important it is to prepare for graduation, even as a freshman, to develop multiple resumes for different fields and to get yourself out there.

Associate Vice President of the Professional Edge Center Corey Wilson said that having the alumni come to speak with the students was beneficial.

“Tonight’s intended goal was really to expose the students to thinking about what they are going to do after they graduate and to hear it from the perspective of alumni,” Wilson said. “It’s one thing to hear it from people, faculty, staff, their parents—who are probably saying the same things—but to have people who can say, ‘I was in your seat.’ I think it was achieved.”

Alumnus and panelist Kevin Good was an elementary education major, but after working in that field for a year he left to start businesses. He is currently operating his fifth business, Hoosier Popcorn. Good said that students should take advantage of living in the city.

“Indianapolis is a blast,” Good said. “Go [to] downtown Indy, just for fun. Just go explore. It’s one of the coolest places in the country. And it’s only 10 minutes away.”

Each of the panelists spoke about how UIndy prepared them for their future. A few highlights of the discussion were internships, real-world experience and how to be professional, according to Miller.

The discussion also included topics related to not staying at a job if you are miserable, paying your dues, watching what you post on social media, traveling or studying abroad, not being afraid to reinvent yourself and money’s  inability to satisfy.

“Our jobs are to help students think about what they’re going to do post-graduation,” Wilson said. “But the idea is to start [in your] freshman year. Don’t wait until senior year second semester.”

Senior sports management major Da’chera Baker came to make sure she is on the right track.

“I thought it was extremely beneficial just to have UIndy alumni come back and tell us what they’ve learned through here and since they’re out there in the real world right now,” Baker said. “We can start our professionalism right now.”

Graduation was a major part of the alumni discussion. Wilson said that it is important to start thinking about it early on.

“So are you going to wait until 2018 second semester to start preparing [for graduation],” Wilson said, “or are you going to start early?”