Homecoming academics

Courtesy Photo / Ryan Slusarzyk
Ryan Slusarzyk will be a presenter at the Alumni Speak event

Courtesy photo

Courtesy Photo / Ryan Slusarzyk Ryan Slusarzyk will be a presenter at the Alumni Speak event

Rachel Melke

In the midst of the competitions, tailgating, the football game and many other homecoming festivities, the Seidman College of Business has chosen to bring academics into the celebration of Homecoming week.

Forty-five Grand Valley State University alumni speakers will visit 35 class sections on Wednesday and Thursday to share their post-college experiences with current students and faculty.

After participating in homecoming activities such as tailgating for years, the Seidman College of Business decided last year to bring their part of homecoming celebration into the classroom.

“We thought it would be more productive to create a homecoming activity that would connect the classroom and alumni,” said Vonnie Herrera, director of external relations and communication for the Seidman dean’s office.

Students will get to speak with 2008 GVSU graduates such as Ryan Slusarzyk and Jordan Hefferan.

“I plan on speaking about my past, my experience at GVSU, what I currently do and have done, and what my community involvements are,” Slusarzyk said.

Sluzarzyk will speak in his former professor Monica Allen’s team building course.

“He does a great job not only speaking about (his experiences) … but also giving the students examples on what steps he took while still at Seidman to prepare himself for the workplace and find the position that he has,” Allen said.

Slusarzyk graduated with a marketing degree with emphasis in sales, a management degree and a minor in sociology. He currently is the marketing program manager at the Amway Hotel Corporation. He has spoken at GVSU many times and hopes to continue.

Hefferan will be speaking to students in professor Gregg Dimkoff’s Risk and Insurance course to help the students prepare to be competitive in the job market. He will also emphasize that is not only important to be a good student but also to be well-rounded.

Alumni and faculty both said they see this sharing of experiences essential for undergraduate students.

“If they don’t have someone giving them this advice now, they won’t be able to get to the point where they need to be,” Hefferan said.

Students who seek these alumni connections out will be the ones who succeed, Hefferan said.

“I didn’t have the opportunity to listen to any alumni during my undergraduate days, so when I graduated, there were lots of surprises,” Dimkoff said. “The College of Business is doing a good thing by having alumni come in to share their experiences, explain what a business career is like and answer student questions.”

State Rep. Frank Foster (R—Petoskey) is also a recent GVSU graduate who will speak to business students.

“Your GVSU alumni are one of the greatest [connections] you have as a graduating student or recent alumni seeking a job,” Foster said. “You have a common bond through a quality Grand Valley education, and they can help guide you to potential job opportunities and give you advice that you will carry with you for the rest of your career.”

[email protected]