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December 13, 2016
At Knox College's fourth annual Career Impact Summit, 80 juniors and seniors picked up tips from alumni about searching for jobs, pursuing their dreams, and planning their after-Knox lives.
More than a dozen alumni returned to campus to participate in the two-day event, which took place shortly after the end of fall term and is designed to help liberal arts students navigate the job market.
Students said they appreciated hearing advice from alumni and having multiple opportunities to interact with them during the summit.
"It made me more confident moving forward," said Marilyn Barnes '17. "It's a great networking experience."
The Career Impact Summit was organized by the Knox College Bastian Family Career Center. It was sponsored by the John D. Carlin Career Development Support Fund. The event featured more than a dozen discussion panels and breakout sessions, including "Landing Your First Job after Knox," "Social Media and Personal Branding," and "The Art of the Interview."
In an opening keynote address, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College Laura Behling told students that their liberal arts education has equipped them well for the future. Through classroom and experiential learning at Knox, she said, students develop key skills that employers value, such as thinking critically, solving complex problems, and practicing ethical judgment.
In this video, alumni who participated in the summit share how their Knox experience prepared them for graduate school, careers, and life after Knox:
One of the returning alumni, Chanda Harrell '15, presented the session on "Landing Your First Job after Knox." Now a transfer pricing consultant at KPMG in Chicago, Harrell encouraged students to ask for guidance from the Career Center staff, who can help with resumes, cover letters, and mock interviews.
She also advised students to connect with Knox alumni through the Career Center, Homecoming events, and LinkedIn.
"I've really found that alumni want to help us find jobs," Harrell said.
Jesse Okwu '17, who is majoring in economics and anthropology-sociology, said Harrell's session was valuable because it helped him learn more about what he needs to do to get a good job. Okwu said the session also helped him recognize "the importance of taking advantage of resources on campus and the importance of the Knox community in finding a job after I graduate."
Summer Fujii '18, a member of the women's basketball team, said she attended the "Using Your Student-Athlete Experience after Knox" session because she wanted to see how her own student-athlete experience could translate to "the real world." The session was led by Andrew Garrison '04, lead counselor at The Abbey Addiction Treatment Center, and Claire Anderson '11, proposal development manager and senior consultant at CSG Government Solutions.
"It was helpful seeing these alums who took their experience here and changed it into something that could really benefit them in the long run," Fujii said.
In the closing session, entrepreneur Regine Rousseau '94 presented "Dare to Dream: Having Confidence in Yourself." A theatre major at Knox, Rousseau discussed her pursuit of various career interests, which led to the creation of her own business, Shall We Wine.
She encouraged students to achieve their dreams by using the skills they've developed at Knox. Rousseau also urged students to believe in themselves, and she pointed out that she often does things "people told me I couldn't do."
She added: "No one knows what you're capable of doing, except for you."
(Photo at top of page: Regine Rousseau '94 speaks with students at the Career Impact Summit 2016. Additional photos: Erin Jacoby Easter '00 offers advice on resume-writing, Cyril Ramathal '04 speaks with a student; Dean Laura Behling presents the opening keynote; Creal Zearing '10; discusses social media and personal branding.)
I’ve really found that alumni want to help us find jobs."—Chanda Harrell '15
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