Alumni and current students experience “speed networking” during GOLD Rush
April 14, 2011 By Leigh Cocanougher
current student in a speed networking setting. Students had
three minutes per session to ask questions and get advice from
alumni working in an array of career fields.
James Barnard, assistant director of annual giving, says that
the GOLD Rush alumni participants “are able to offer first-hand
advice that’s truly valuable to the students on the receiving end.”
The event, hosted by the alumni and Career Services offices,
served as a way for students to learn about a variety of career
choices and provided a forum for starting conversations.
Centre College’s alumni network isn’t affectionately known as the “Centre Mafia” for nothing.
Alumni of the College, who each year continue to prove that they’re among the nation’s most loyal in terms of giving to their alma mater, are also eager to help current students and recent graduates in their job search. And at the second annual GOLD Rush, held on Tuesday, April 12, 20 alumni did just that.
Like last year’s event, the 2011 GOLD Rush connected young alumni—Centre GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade)—with current students for a “speed networking” experience. Organized by the alumni office and Career Services, the event consisted of 14 three-minute conversations. At the end of each brief session, a bell rang, signaling that it was time for the students to rise and shift to the next alumni seated at the table.
“For the young alumni attendees, the GOLD Rush is a great way to help current students who are in a position that they, the alumni, are very familiar with,” says James Barnard, assistant director of annual giving. “We all have stories to tell, and it feels good to be able to help people. GOLD Rush alumni participants are able to offer first-hand advice that’s truly valuable to the students on the receiving end.”
Making up the group of alumni participating this year were those in banking and finance field, insurance agents, public relations professionals, veterinarians, attorneys, teachers, graduate students and more.
During this year’s event, the students were given three minutes to meet with the 14 alumni whom they’d chosen to speak with, one minute longer than the networking chats that took place last year.
“This decision, which came from feedback after last year’s event, allowed conversations to develop a little more, but still kept the transactions short and sweet and didn’t lose the ‘speed networking’ concept that was so popular,” Barnard says.
The GOLD Rush, he continues, is less about recruitment and job offers and “more about the networking experience. I know business cards were exchanged, and I’m sure some students kept in touch with the newfound mentors. The real goal, however, is to give students a taste of a variety of post-college career choices and to provide a forum for starting conversations. Students can come to the events expecting to meet a wide range of people and hoping to learn something that cannot be taught in the classroom.”