Photo via University Communications
Last week, while many students packed their bags for a much needed weekend at home, 20 SLU students pressed their suits and prepared their business cards for a two day networking trip to Albany. Organized by Career Services, SLU-Connect Albany exposed students of all class years to various industries and occupations in New York State’s capital region. While Career Services has previously organized SLU-Connect D.C., which introduces students to networking opportunities in the nation’s capital, this was the first time that a SLU-Connect event was staged in Albany. The preparation for the trip began months before last week’s events. “Our office began conceptually planning the Albany trip last spring with the support of Marion Roach Smith ‘77, Trustee and Joe Richardson ’63, Trustee Emeritus,” said Beth Larrabee, who serves as the Associate Director of Career Services.
The weekend of activities kicked off early on Thursday morning, when the students began their drive from Canton to Saratoga Springs. Their first stop was Stewart’s Corporate Headquarters. Gary Dake ’82 currently serves as president of Stewart’s and met with the students to discuss his career in the business world. Dake has been at the helm of Stewart’s since 2003, and has been employed by the company for over 30 years.
After their visit to Stewarts, the group continued driving to Albany, where they visited the Albany Times-Union newspaper. During this visit they met with Rex Smith, who serves as an editor at the Capital region newspaper. This exposed them to the process of putting together a daily publication. “We actually saw them make a front page write up,” said Gwen Deuel ’19, a government major who attended the program. “I think that was one of everyone’s favorite places.”On Thursday evening, the group joined alumni from throughout the Albany region for a network-ing event at the Fort Orange Club. “It was my first formal networking event,” said Deuel.“It was a good experience and great chance to practice,” This gave students a chance to meet more than 30 area SLU alumni and parents and learn about their career paths. “They had a re-ally broad age range; there were recent grads and people who were al-ready retired,” noted Deuel. “It was impressive to watch our students engage and learn from our community of Laurentians representing a broad range of professional fields,” said Larrabee.
For the final day of the trip, the participants visited the New York State Capitol building and met with Assemblyman William Barclay ’92, who represents parts of Oswego and Onondoga counties in the state legislature. They also had a chance to see the State Senate and Assembly chambers and explore the rest of the Capitol complex.
Overall, the trip received many rave reviews from the program’s participants. “It was a great learning experience about networking for students who have never had an opportunity to connect with alumni before,” said Claudia Stankiewicz ’19. Career Services has been diligently working to find new opportunities to introduce students to the world of networking. In the past, they have organized number of off-campus events, including an annual Young Alumni in Finance panel in New York City and a net-working event and alumni panel in Boston. This year, in addition to SLU-Connect Albany and Connect D.C., Career Services will be debut-ing SLU-Connect Mountain States. This program will be held over winter break and will bring select students to Big Sky, Montana for four days of skiing and networking. For more information, log onto Hand-shake or visit Career Services