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Alumni share career advice in Homecoming visits

In what has become a Homecoming tradition for successful young alumni, graduates of the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business and the School of Communications shared career tips and life advice Friday in "wisdom sessions" for current students as part of Homecoming 2010. Alumni from the School of Education held a similar program Saturday morning prior to the official start of football festivities around campus.

From left: Michelle Gurney Sartori ’99, moderator Jasmine Spencer, Erika Hasenfus '08 and Lindsay Eney '09 during the School of Communications' "Elon 2.0: Success After Elon Alumni Wisdom Session."

The biggest tip alumni supplied? Make the most of the people and technologies Elon has to offer to prepare yourself for whatever jobs are available later.

The School of Communications hosted its alumni in Studio B, where current students filmed the discussion for broadcast on ESTV. Business alumni addressed questions from students, faculty and other alumni in Room 145 of the Koury Business Center. Education alumni gathered in the Mooney Building.

In both Friday sessions, alumni said their coursework and internships when studying at the university helped ready them for their current positions. That was noted several times by communications alumni who cited the university's resources as something not every media outlet or public relations firm provides.

"Take advantage of the technology Elon has available because it really is top-notch stuff," said Alexa Milan '10, a reporter for The Sanford Herald newspaper in North Carolina.

Front table, from left: Hilary Corna ’07, Jeremy Kitts ’09 and Christine Winans ’10 were panelists in the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business program.

During the Love School of Business program later in the afternoon, three alumni offered their audience suggestions for successfully landing jobs. The encouraged students to seek multiple internships before graduation, and to closely study the companies to which they apply. Knowledge of a corporation shows those who do the hiring that a candidate cares about the job.

"And don't just do research," said HIlary Corna '07, who is currently writing a book for young professionals in which she documents her work as a senior executive officer with Toyota. "Come up with good questions (for the interview)."

Christine Winans '10 learned Mandarin Chinese during her studies as a business administration major. Her language skills, coupled with a desire to learn about Boeing during an internship, was more than enough for the aeronautics and defense contractor to hire her full time upon graduation.

"If you know what you want to do and have a plan to get there, you'll be successful," Winans said. "People who want to succeed, they will."

School of Education alumni (left to right): Tyronna McKoy Hooker, Debra Briggs Hennelly and Kebbler McGhee Williams.

Panelists included:

School of Communications
Michelle Gurney Sartori ’99, IGT in Reno, Nev.
Lindsay Eney '09, Chesapeake Research Consortium
Erika Hasenfus '08, Luxe Interiors + Design Magazine (New York)
Marty Callinan '08, ESPN
Alexa Milan '10, The Sanford Herald (North Carolina)
Ashley Barnas ’10, The News Journal (Delaware)

Martha and Spencer Love School of Business
Hilary Corna ’07, Author and Speaker
Jeremy Kitts ’09, IBM
Christine Winans ’10, Boeing

School of Education
Emily Dillard ’07
Meredith Whitt '09
Preston Williams '09
Debra Briggs Hennelly '88
Tyronna McKoy Hooker G'09
Jennifer Russell Owen ‘98
Jonathan Pickett ‘03
Elic Senter ‘99
Kebbler McGhee Williams ‘98

Eric Townsend,
10/23/2010 1:10 PM