Tuesday, April 10, 2012
The Westminster College Department of Economics and Business hosted an alumni networking event on campus March 24.
The event was organized by Dr. Daniel Fischmar, professor of economics and business, and alumni Mark Drabick '10, Ben Nelson '06, and Christie Grewe Nelson '06.
Fischmar's concern that students are often so focused on getting through coursework that they lose sight of the hard work and planning needed for a successful job search led him to put together the panel.
"The event helped provide that focus and made them aware of the multiple opportunities that their education has made possible," he said. "The discussion by alumni highlighted the importance of maintaining a broad array of contacts, both as a means of getting their first job and creating new opportunities as they move through their careers."
"The employment environment has been weak for several years and companies are often inundated with applicants," Ben Nelson said. "Personal relationships allow you to be heard above the din of the increasingly popular electronic career networking and résumé collection sites. My wife Christie and I have seen the benefits of networking in our own careers and, by assisting Dr. Fischmar in organizing this event, sought to help students build these valuable personal relationships with Westminster alumni."
Student feedback reflected the success of the event. Several gained new perspective on the importance of networking and making the most of opportunities as they arise.
Freshman Rebecca Mobley was inspired by the success of the Westminster alumni: "As a freshman, I was reminded of the importance of the upcoming years as I try to find an internship, job, and eventually a career. I hope someday I can be sitting on the panel helping other Westminster students as they start their post-college life."
"I believe networking is vital in today's tough economy," said junior Alexandra Cochran. "Networking opens doors to possible careers and builds connections that can last a lifetime."
"The alumni panel shared their experiences with networking and how it has helped them," said junior Samantha Jackson. "It helped to hear their advice on how to find a job."
"I wanted to meet successful business people from Westminster, hear their stories, and see if any were similar to mine (some were)," said junior Michael O'Leary. "I was encouraged that some of them didn't have jobs right out of school but have still become very successful."
Alumni who served on the panel were:
• Andrew Anthony '11, UPMC
• Tony Carrabba '96, Giant Eagle
• Ben Cochran '11, ParenteBeard
• Anthony Colwell '08, Transtar Industries/Innovelop LLC
• Micah Delo '06, AXA Advisors
• Mark Drabick '10, Bank of New York Mellon
• Kelly Fee '10, Liberty Mutual
• Michelle Latta-Maloney '10, Bayer AG
• Ben Nelson '06, Moody's Coporation
• Christie Grewe Nelson '06, Rutgers University/DIMACS
• Ken Romig '85, Westminster College
• Meredith Sabol '10, Bank of New York Mellon
• Lee Scott '07, Coalition for Christian Outreach
Also serving on the panel was Tom Nelson of Ameriprise Financial.
Contact Fischmar at (724) 946-7162 or email for additional information.