Seven alumni will participate in a panel in Hart Auditorium Monday at 4 p.m., hosted by of the Student Alumni Association (SAA).
Following the panel, students will have an opportunity to network with alumni during a reception.
The panel will discuss their experiences as a student, their career paths after graduation and how being ACU alumnus allowed them to make business connections.
Micaela Janssen, senior kinesiology major from Brentwood and SAA co-president, said they wanted to focus on choosing from a pool of young alumni in order to find people who would be relatable to students.
“We reached out to alumni based on recommendations we received from ACU staff and based on jobs and companies that we felt students would be most interested in hearing about,” Janssen said.
Mandy Collum, SAA advisor, said over the summer she researched what other colleges do in their SAA programs to help revamp ACU’s program. She was inspired by Ole Miss’s program, which hosts an alumni panel.
“I thought this would be a great event for ACU’s Student Alumni Association to host because it gives students the opportunity to connect with young alumni who were recently in their shoes,” Collum said.
While Collum said she is looking forward to students and alumni building relationships, there were challenges in planning this event.
“One of the hardest aspects of coordinating this event was finding alumni who were able to come to Abilene on a Monday,” Collum said. “It can be hard to get away on a weekday because people have jobs and young families to care for.”
Abby Browning, senior communication disorders major from Wichita Falls and SAA co-president, said bridging the gap between alumni and students in order for them to not only network but also create personal connections is the goal of SAA.
“We hope this spurs questions about their future careers and helps students think about their next steps after college,” said Browning.
SAA is currently working on other students and alumni networking events for the future.