Alumni “Speed Network” With Students

The office of Career Planning took advantage of the presence of 28 alumni on campus last week to arrange its job-related version of speed dating, what it calls “speed networking.”

Speed networking between alumni and students offers students the chance to practice introductions and talking about their interests and career goals. “They’ll gain comfort interacting with new acquaintances, and they can also ask about potential contacts in the professional world,” Associate Director of Employer Relations Todd Herrmann ’85 said.

For the event, in Thorne Dining Hall, alumni sat at fixed spots while students moved from table to table, briefly chatting with the seasoned professional sitting across from them. After six minutes, Herrmann blew his whistle signaling time up. The student-alumni duo shook hands, exchanged thanks yous, and then everyone did it all over again.

After roughly 36 minutes and six conversations, the alumni (who were on campus for an Alumni Council meeting) offered general feedback to the students. They mostly praised the polish and the achievements of the students they spoke with.

Matt Roberts ’93, an executive producer of the Late Show with David Letterman, said he thought students presented themselves even more strongly this year than they had done at the same event last year. “Everyone was being natural and conversational,” he said. “It always makes the interview uncomfortable when there is that presentation-at-a-science-fair quality to the interview.”

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