In July, Chapman alumni with varying professional backgrounds convened for an evening of networking and professional development at the
Alumni Networking Roundtable
. Located in Doti Hall, the night consisted of proactive conversations, delicious refreshments and an overall expansion of everyone’s professional network. Although this event is reserved exclusively for alumni and I don’t classify as one (…yet), as the student assistant to
Career and Industry
, I had the opportunity to observe this Roundtable and witness firsthand the impact that it provides.
Adam Coughran ’04 (M.A. ’10)
kicked off the night with an opening message, explaining how Chapman is moving forward and making large strides with its recent focus on Career and Industry, and more specifically,
the Alumni Association’s priority on career services
. These successes were further demonstrated as the Roundtable turned to
Mona Sleiman ’14 (M.S. ’15)
, a regular Networking Roundtable attendee. Originally having a different career path in mind, Mona came seeking advice on how to further progress in her new interest—a career in the field of recruitment. It was at a Networking Roundtable like this one, where she met
, director of Career and Industry, who continued the conversation and connected Mona with resources. After that successful encounter, Mona was a constant presence at Roundtables and continued her research on the recruiting industry. The July Roundtable was the first one Mona attended as a recruiter and she served as a resource to her fellow alumni. Mona’s success story shows a full-circle, career continuum as she reconnected to her alma mater with a Think Chapman First mindset.
The spotlight then transitioned to the attendees. Everyone took turns around the table (hence, the name “Roundtable”), speaking for up to two minutes and sharing their networking bio (a single page document that tells everyone in the room who you are, what you’ve done, what you hope to do, how you can help them, and what you need assistance/connections in). After a short presentation from each alumnus, discussion opened up for the other attendees to give feedback, and make suggestions and introductions where appropriate. The result of this process was a very intimate and honest conversation between peers. I realized that it was through these open discussions that connections were formed. What was amazing about this event was that the 13 guests present at the Roundtable all started off as strangers with different career goals in mind, and it seemed almost unreal that they would provide each other with the desired connections. And yet, as the night unfolded, many second, third, and even fourth connections were made. The phrase, “it’s a small world after all,” rings true.
As an undergrad, everyone tells you the importance of networking. But, the weight of this advice did not hit home to me until this Roundtable. Personally, the event showed that I have a strong, extended network of high-achieving Panthers. It inspired me to give back and be active in the Chapman community even after I graduate. This night confirmed to me that Chapman truly is… your career connection for life.