09 Feb 2017
By Megan McQuade Posted in News, Community, Development

Networking 101: An alumni connection story

By Megan McQuade On February 9, 2017

Networking 101

STOP thinking about Networking and START thinking about Connecting...

Networking is about making connections with other people. Some of the BEST connections are with a diverse group of like-minded individuals. Usually, these groups share common interests, motivations, career aspirations, backgrounds, and so forth.

Making authentic connections in the business world can be daunting. First, people wonder... Where do I start? Then, they think... What will I say? If you are a recent graduate, looking to make a career switch or looking to get more involved in your community — why not start with your Alumni Association?

Arizona State University recently hosted a Young Alumni Career Night with a panel of highly successful Sun Devil Alumni. The panel included: Chris Powell, Nicole Rogers, Jeff Osborne and Shelby Pedersen.

ASU Young Alumni Career Panel

Meet the Panel:

Chris Powell

Most people know Chris from the docu-series, Extreme Weight Loss. Chris helps individuals lose extreme amounts of weight over a one-year period. His series tracks each individual's weight-loss journey. Chris graduated from ASU with his Bachelor's degree in exercise science after realizing that engineering was not for him. Over the years, he reflected on what he learned in his statistics classes at ASU, and how they routinely come in handy as he builds individual exercise plans. Life is a lesson, and you never know when the skills you learn will come in handy. According to Chris, each person should nurture and lean on his/her network for knowledge, collaboration and support. Still curious about staying in shape? Learn more about how weight loss changes after middle age.

Nicole Rogers

Nicole Rogers graduated from ASU with her Bachelor's degree in finance and supply chain management. She followed her dream job into the world of consulting, but ultimately realized that her dream was to own her own business. Nicole is passionate about connecting with others and building something from nothing. Her company, Ama la vida, helps individuals love life through transformational programs, coaching and community. She refers to a career as a "jungle gym."  There are twists, turns and lateral moves that contribute to your success as a professional. Don't be afraid to move side-ways or backwards!

Jeff Osborne

Jeff Osborne has held many C-Level titles, including COO, CPO and, now, President and CEO of Accumen. Accumen partners with hospitals and health systems to create high-performing labs that enhance quality, reduce cost, and improve patient care. He earned a Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and is also a leader in the healthcare industry. Jeff feels it is imperative that an individual connects to his/her company's culture. Also, he very bluntly told recent grads that they should leave a culture that fails to sync with their value system. Instead of complaining, find a stimulating environment. One is out there!

Shelby Pedersen

Shelby Pedersen is the CEO of ICAN. She holds her Master's degree in public administration from ASU. Shelby has spent most of her career in the non-profit industry, but has experience with marketing and community relations. She described "authentic connecting." She also explained that someone can feel the absence of authenticity in a given situation. Therefore, if you don't have a connection with someone, it's OK to move on! Shelby has leaned on previous ASU educators and rooted herself in the Valley by joining and contributing to several organizations. Some of these include Project C.U.R.E. and the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

So, finding connections within your alumni association is a perfect place to start! This exceptional group of diverse talent is forever linked by Arizona State University. They each have connections and influences that originated directly from their educational institution. As they reflect on their time at ASU, they advise recent grads and all others to nurture their networks, know their values, don't be afraid to ASK, and never give up!

So, do you think connecting with your Alumni Association might be valuable? Let us know!

For more event pictures, CLICK HERE.

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