In today’s competitive job market, the statement “it’s all about who you know,” has become increasingly true, especially for recent college graduates. For that reason, Gustavus Adolphus College is going to great lengths to ensure that students leave the College with the ability to find a job based on what they know as well as who they know.
The Gustavus Economics and Management Department in collaboration with the College’s Center for Servant Leadership started the Gustavus Mentoring Program three years ago. The program provides Gustavus students with relevant business information and experience through personal and professional mentoring relationships with successful Gustavus alumni.
In the Spring of 2013, four different affinity groups – Gustavus Women in Leadership, Gustavus Young Alumni, The Alumni Association, and the Center For Servant Leadership – were all planning separate networking events for current students and alumni. The four groups decided instead to plan one big event, which had more than 140 students and alumni in attendance at the Minneapolis Club.
The next networking event is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 23 at the Westin Galleria Edina and organizers are expecting more than 200 attendees. Current students and alumni will have the opportunity to network and also hear alumnus Scott Anderson ’89 speak. Anderson is currently a member of the College’s Board of Trustees and the President and CEO of Patterson Dental Company.
Gustavus alumnus Mike Dueber ’89 attended last spring’s networking event and plans to attend the Oct. 23 event as well. Dueber, who is a self-employed business and technology consultant and owner of Dueber Consulting, Inc., says the benefits of bringing alumni and current students together for such events are many.
“The number one advantage or benefit of the mentoring program and networking events is getting to meet other successful Gusties in a safe, controlled, and fun environment,” Dueber said. “Unlike Job Fair, this is not a hiring event, so students get to socialize with other professionals without the immediate pressure of a job search.”
A number of current students are taking advantage of the networking events including senior management major Ellen Krueger ’14.
“The Networking Event creates a comfortable setting for students to begin developing genuine relationships with alumni,” Krueger said. “Gusties truly enjoy helping out other Gusties, which can definitely be seen during this event.”
Junior business management major Joseph Bies ’15 agrees and says that the networking events can be a beneficial learning experience.
“I think this event is beneficial because it gives students the opportunity to get their names out there and meet actual business clients both face-to-face and on networks like LinkedIn,” Bies said. “I’m choosing to attend because I’d really like to learn how to better network in the business world.”
“These events are great opportunities to expand your Gustavus network. Everyone that attends these events has a lot of pride in Gustavus and will do what they can to help current students,” senior Andrew Oakes ’14 said. “Over the past couple years, I’ve realized how much Gusties help each other, and these events are a great way to meet people who can help you and mentor you as you move on from Gustavus.”
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