BCLA Career Chats

Wednesday, February 7, 2018 | 7-9 p.m. | Roski Dining, University Hall

Join dozens of LMU alumni, BCLA's Dean Crabtree, and over 100 of your fellow undergraduate students in a celebration of Liberal Arts Education. Alumni from such industries as Social Services, Non-profits, Politics and Government, Professional Writing, Hospitality, Global and International Affairs, Sales, and Arts, Culture and Entertainment will share their stories with undergraduate students. 

  • Alumni panel discussing the relevance of a Liberal Arts education
  • Networking with alumni from a variety of fields who are passionate about mentoring LMU undergraduates in their development as students and professionals
  • Short messages from selected alumni on tips and advice for finding post graduate success
    • Where: Roski Dining, University Hall
    • When: Wednesday, February 7; Event begins at 7 p.m.
    • Who: Open to all class levels
    • What: Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments provided
    • Cost: Free to students and alumni

    Student RSVP          Alumni RSVP

  • Who will be there?

    Accomplished alumni, CPD career coaches, and students like you who are interested to hear from successful professionals from such industries as Social Services, Non-profits, Politics and Government, Professional Writing, Hospitality, Global and International Affairs, Sales, and Arts, Culture and Entertainment.

    Why Should I Attend? 

    • Build connections that can lead to mentoring opportunities, internships, or jobs
    • Discover new career options
    • Learn about the career paths of LMU alumni

    How should I dress?

    Business professional attire is recommended for this event.

  • General Advice

    Know your goals: What are you trying to get out of this event? Are you trying to learn about a variety of fields? Are you hoping to get connected with the specific alum who works at that company you are about to apply to? Are you interested in learning about the duties of a specific job title? For some students, you may want to prioritize meeting as many people as possible. For other students, you may want to prioritize having a longer conversation with one specific. Know your goals

    Know who is in the room: Review the list of alumni located inside your folder and strategize who you would like to meet. Leave your top alum as your last conversation as you strengthen your networking skills

    Pace yourself: Try to connect with at least 3-6 different alumni tonight

    Warm up: Before you engage your priority contacts, have a few conversations with alumni or other students to get comfortable with the process. Once you shake off any nerves, then approach the alumni from your dream companies and industries

    Take advantage: Don’t get into long conversations with your friends and other students. Tonight is a rare opportunity to meet and learn from a variety of alumni working in many exciting fields.

    Bring others in: Rather than trying to “hog” an alum’s time, bring other students into the conversation! Invite others to contribute, ask your friend to share something about herself or himself.

    Careful with food: While this event is catered, use the food as a way to step away from a conversation and recharge. You don’t want to get stuck with a plate full of food in one hand, a full drink in another, and this paper under your arm when an alum reaches out to shake your hand.

    Conversation Starters

    Introduce yourself: An easy way to start a conversation is to simply say, “Good evening! My name is Maria and I am a Junior Urban Studies major interested in local government. How are you tonight?” Once you start the conversation, then you can ask them questions about themselves, their paths, companies, industries or involvements while at LMU.

    Join other conversations: If you hear one of your friends having an interesting conversation with someone, politely join their talk. It is normal and healthy for small groups of people to hold conversations at an event like tonight.

    Be observant: Do you love that BCBG bracelet they are wearing? Let them know! You can easily start a conversation by giving a simple, professionally appropriate compliment: “I love your ring. Is that jade?”

    Listen more than you speak: Engage in a conversation and allow for give and take. Ask questions and be curious. Create space for others to join the conversation and ask questions. Listen intently to remember key points from your conversation to include when you follow-up. Take notes throughout the evening for future reflection and follow-up.

    How to End a Conversation

    Be direct: This is a networking event; it is ok and expected that you will be connecting with a lot of different people. If you find yourself ready to move to a new conversation, simply thank the alum for their conversation and let them know that you need to see who else is in the room: “Thank you for talking with me, I will be sure to take your advice about clearly listing my best success stories on LinkedIn. I’m going to get a refill of this drink and see who else is in the room. Have a great night!”

    Thank and Move on: If you are engaged in a small group conversation, you can simply politely walk away when others are actively talking.

    Follow-Up to Build a Relationship

    Get connected: Find alumni you connected with tonight on LinkedIn and send personalized connection requests within the next 24-48 hours.

    Get coffee: Ask for an informational interview

  • Questions about their career path/training

    • How did you get into this field?
    • What has your career path been like to date? Is it representative of most people in this kind of position?
    • What kind of education/training do you have?
    • Are you a member of any professional orders or associations? Which ones do you feel are the most important to belong to?
    • What are the future prospects in this field? What trends do you see developing over the next few years?
    • If you could do things all over again, would you choose the same path for yourself?

    Questions about their current position and responsibilities

    • What does a typical day/week in your job look like?
    • What do you enjoy the most about your job? The least?
    • What skills have you found essential for success in this occupation?
    • Could you tell me about one of the main challenges you face in this position?

    Questions about working conditions

    • How many hours do you work in a typical week?
    • How much autonomy do you have in terms of what you focus on at work?
    • What kind of supervision did you have when you were starting out? Now?
    • How is your performance evaluated?
    • What kind of professional development opportunities are available?

    Additional questions

    • What advice would you have liked to have heard when you were starting out?
    • How would you recommend I “try out” this line of work (i.e. through a summer job, internship, volunteering…)?
    • What other fields or jobs would you suggest I research before making a final decision?
    Some information adapted from the Yale Office for Postdoctoral Affairs

Questions?

Contact Elizabeth Connolly at elizabeth.connolly@lmu.edu.