Once a Blugold, Always a Blugold: Benefits for UW-Eau Claire Alumni
By Dale Damrow, Alyssa McMahon, Ashley Miller, Ashley Zimmer
Among the numbers of papers, projects, and exams, most College of Business students sometimes forget how important and useful their connections to the university are after graduation. Staying connected after graduation is beneficial because it facilitates personal networking and recruiting opportunities for both alumni and current students.
Some graduating seniors believe the connection to UW-Eau Claire is important once they become alumni.
“I would like to think I could be used as a source of information or help for those who need it and I will take steps to ensure that that happens,” said Daniel Rasmussen, a senior marketing - professional sales major.
Graduates can stay in contact with the College of Business in a variety of ways. For example, every October, the College of Business hosts the Twin Cities Alumni Bash. More than 300 COB faculty, staff and alumni attend this event each fall. Alumni also stay involved with campus organizations in which they were members as undergraduates. Many come back to make presentations, meet with students and give career-worthy advice.
The UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association Office offers opportunities for graduates seeking an active alumni role. According to Alumni Relations Director John Bachmeier, the number of graduates who stay connected has increased.
“The University has a tremendous amount of opportunities for alumni. Check it out and take advantage of all we have to offer,” said Bachmeier.
According to Gretchen Hutterli, College of Business Assistant Dean-External Affairs, graduating seniors who want to join the Alumni Association do not need to do anything, because “you are automatically a member because you graduated from UW-Eau Claire.”
Unlike other schools in the University of Wisconsin System, Hutterli said that UW-Eau Claire alumni do not have to pay dues.
Hutterli also said that the COB keeps in contact with graduates through a congratulatory e-mail which invites the graduates to the Twin Cities Alumni Bash.
“In the email, the deans (Dock, Sutton, Hoggatt, and Hutterli) wish the graduates well, ask them to stay in touch, and tell them to mark their calendar for the Twin Cities Alumni Bash," she said.
COB alumni can also stay informed of events occurring in the COB by visiting the Alumni and Community Web site.
Sometimes, students may take a less obvious route to staying connected after graduation. Many are members of social network sites such as Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn. These sites allow alumni to stay connected with friends and faculty.
Homecoming is another great social networking opportunity in which graduates can reconnect with fellow students, alumni, and faculty. Homecoming week is one of UW–Eau Claire’s largest annual events, which is highlighted by numerous activities including a parade and football game. Each year, Homecoming draws thousands of alumni back to Eau Claire, where they join students, faculty, staff, and the public to celebrate the event.
Another way to stay connected to UW-Eau Claire and the College of Business is to return for career events on campus. Career Conference which takes place in fall semester and Internship Mania which takes place in the spring semester, are known for bringing large numbers of alumni to campus, to recruit current students.
The Ask an Alum online program helps alumni, students, and parents to exchange information between professionals and students.
Many students see graduation as the finish line, a time when the connection between the student and the university ends. This connection, however, may continue as long as the student would like because, “Once a Blugold, Always a Blugold.”
From left to right: Dale Damrow is a senior management major from Tomah, Wis; Alyssa McMahon is a junior marketing major from Wausau, Wis; Ashley Miller is a senior accounting major from Lake Nebagamon, Wis; Ashley Zimmer is a junior accounting major from Owen, Wis. They wrote this article for their advanced business communication course.