By Lucas Mueller
Photos by Jill Van Wyke
Throughout our time in Washington, D.C., we have gone on many sight visit. More often than not there was at least one former Drake University alumni eager to meet with us. Each and every alumni that we met with was excited to learn more about the class and our time at the capital. They also were very persistent about the students staying in contact with them as we continue on with our education.
Networking is an essential tool when it comes to finding a job. Through networking, a recent graduate will have an easier time starting their career and getting their name known in the professional world. It’s never too early to start your professional network.
After meeting with the various alumni, I was quick to learn that they are the easiest group of people to network with. I believe this is especially true at Drake. At the end of every conversation that I had with an alumnus, they mentioned that I should keep in contact no matter how different my possible career path was to their profession.
Through observation, almost every alumnus is extremely proud of the opportunities that Drake University has provided us. Because of this, they are also more than willing to lend a hand to anyone that shares their educational background. Having this common ground also makes it simple for a student and alumni to have a good conversation without breaks that may seem awkward.
There are many advantages to staying connected with the alumni from Drake University and the rest of one’s network. First, they have connections. Once they know your information, they will be more willing to pass along your information and help the right people find out more about you. Another advantage is that they have experience, both with the “real world” and the city they work in. If you are interested in starting a career in a particular city and have someone in your professional network that is also from that city, chances are they would be willing to help you become familiar with the area.
Wednesday evening Drake University students got first hand experience of all of this at the Drake alumni networking event. Many Drake University grads with a wide variety of professions came to meet once again with the students on the trip. This event was a great way for the students to meet someone from the Washington D.C. area and ask them any questions that we might have.
The networking event was a great experience for all of the students on the trip and we greatly appreciate that the alumni were willing to take time out of their evening to meet with us. Being at the event and seeing all the alumni made me realize how close the Drake community really was and that the alumni are always willing to do their best to help other individuals from Drake University, no matter how large the feat.
Once a Drake Bulldog, always a Drake Bulldog.