Alumni panel to give advice on life after Lakerdom

Alumni panel to give advice on life after Lakerdom

Chelsea Lane

Imagine having the chance to go back in time and offer valuable advice to your past self. Although such an opportunity still remains out of reach for modern science, Grand Valley State University students may get the next-best thing when a panel of recent alumni return to campus Tuesday night to grant current students a look into life after graduation.

The “5 Under 25 Panel,” hosted by the GVSU Future Alumni Association, will feature five university alumni under the age of 25 offering tips, advice and strategies they wish they had known during their post-college transition period. The event is LIB 100 approved and will take place on Tuesday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Alumni House.

“The idea is for the five panelists under the age of 25 to discuss life after graduation, transition issues, what they learned, what they experienced (and) what they recommend for students in college, whether they’re near graduation or a couple years out still,” said Mindy Earley, FAA assistant director of Alumni Relations. “It’s just kind of to impart wisdom and the expertise they gained in the initial short time they’ve been out.”

The panel consists of five graduates from the classes of 2007 and 2008 who currently work at various jobs in the Grand Rapids area. The featured panel members are Ryan Slusarzyk (marketing), a marketing manager for the Amway Hotel Corporation; Ashley Schulte (public administration), a paralegeal with Fresh Start Legal Group; Meahgan Pear (writing), former marketing and events manager for the Humane Society of Kent County; Greg Kehr (criminal justice), a project manager and associate at leadership consulting firm Pondera Advisors and Brittany Hunter (classics), a Web developer for GVSU.

“We created this event so students could get a better understanding of what life after college is like from the point of views of some recent alumni,” said FAA officer Ann Hartlieb. “… So we selected a wide variety of alumni who are doing different things.”

Earley agreed diverse experiences were a key factor in selecting panelist members.

“We tried to select as diverse of a group of panelists as possible: people from different majors, people who are at their first job or people who are at their second job, people who were really active on-campus and some who were not — although most of our panelists were really active,” she said.

Panelists will answer a variety of questions regarding life after college, including “What are some things you recommend students do before graduation?” and “When searching for the right job, is it a good idea to jump right into a job or be patient and wait for the ideal position?”

In addition to pre-written questions, attendees can submit their own questions and will also have the chance to personally network with the panelists during a post-discussion dessert reception.

Earley predicted although the panelists will answer similar questions, their responses will be very diverse and cover many different aspects of post-university life.

“Some wanted to talk about really practical things like health insurance and the basics of life on your own, while others wanted to talk about not feeling involved anymore now that they weren’t on campus and how to get involved with networking groups and things after (graduation),” she said.

[email protected]