||Schofield Hall 218|
||Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004|
Students Receive Career Advice|
From Alumni Professionals
MAILED: April 14, 1999|
While working on an assignment last year for The Spectator, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's student newspaper, then-reporter Julie Vollenweider ended up falling in love with the subject of her story.
Her article on UW-Eau Claire's Connections program, which links current students with alumni in the work force, became more and more interesting to her as she continued working on it. Eventually she resolved to give the program a try herself.
So far the results couldn't be better.
"Using the program is very simple, and it brings a lot of rewards," said Vollenweider, a senior communication (public relations) major from Verona.
The Connections program, co-sponsored by the Alumni Association and Career Services, was developed to connect UW-Eau Claire students with alumni working in a variety of careers. Alumni volunteers from around the country are continually being sought.
Only a year has passed since Vollenweider first looked into the Connections program, and already she has been in contact with several alumni in the communication field who have given her advice on career opportunities and her future prospects.
One of the connections she recently made was with alumna Becky Murray, a marketing associate for Middleton-based manufacturing company Fristam Pumps. Murray graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 1994 with a degree in communication (public relations emphasis).
During spring break last year, Vollenweider set up a job shadowing day with Murray and was able to get a firsthand look at the life of a public relations professional.
"I got to share my resume with her and her co-worker, she gave me a tour and we discussed any and all the questions I had about my life after graduation," she said. "It was a real learning experience."
Murray, who used the Connections program when she was a student at UW-Eau Claire, said she enjoys helping students who are interested in learning more about their job interests.
"This is a very good program," Murray said. "There are a lot of things that students don't know about the career they are thinking of entering. This helps focus you and gives you an idea of what's out there."
Having successfully used the Connections program a number of times, Vollenweider said she has gained valuable information about the public relations field that she hasn't yet encountered in a classroom setting.
"Meeting with, or even just talking with professional alumni, has given me a wide scope of what life can be like post-UW-Eau Claire," she said. "Since I've spoken with professionals doing all kinds of different things with a communication degree, I've been able to get a better grasp of the direction I want to take with my career."
Students taking advantage of the Connections program have the opportunity to learn about a specific career, make a professional connection and test out their interviewing skills for free after just a little paperwork and maybe a phone call, Vollenweider said. "This is an invaluable resource that students should be aware of," she said.
For more information about the Connections program, call the Alumni Association at (715) 836-3266.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: April 14, 1999