By Alexandra Napoli
SBU alumni have been reaching out to students for years through networking sessions with juniors and seniors. However, this year, the alumni are expanding their reach even further by launching an event for the sophomore class.
The alumni will hold a networking session at the Ellicott Square Building in Buffalo on Jan. 8 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Students can discuss future career paths, internships and job opportunities with the alumni. Sophomore class president Samantha DiBenedetto and vice president Ashley Hong are working hard to inform the rest of the sophomore class about the event.
“It’s such an amazing opportunity,” DiBenedetto said. “It’s the first time alumni relations have been offered to a sophomore class, which gives us the opportunity to build relationships with prospective employers, or just get advice from people who have been down the same road that we are heading down right now as we prepare ourselves to enter the real word or graduate school.”
The alumni are reaching out to the sophomores in addition to juniors and seniors because they believe networking is one of the many advantages for students of all ages, according to Monica Mattioli, the executive director of Alumni Operations. Because it is so important, alumni believe it is pertinent to begin the networking process as early as possible. Mattioli, has been the leader of the event.
“St. Bonaventure University’s alumni affinity is truly remarkable and rises above that of many benchmark institutions,” Mattioli said. “It is important for our students to grasp that value as early as possible. We also look to continue the legacy so these same students remember their positive experiences with alumni and behave similarly after they graduate.”
Mattioli looks forward to the benefits the sophomores will gain from attending their first networking session with alumni.
“They will leave with a springboard of contacts for potential internships that will be needed during their next two years of study,” Mattioli said. “They will gain good experience in operating in a networking environment, which is a critical social skill for any career path.”
Whether students are required to complete internships hours or not, the networking session is open to any major. Even if some students do not need internship hours, it provides them with exposure to a professional environment and opportunities to connect with alumni.
Not only are the alumni enthusiastic about the networking session, but the students are excited as well. DiBenedetto, a biology major, looks forward to attending the event.
“I’m looking forward to this event,” she said. “I’m personally excited to meet alumni that have received a biology degree from SBU and see what career paths they were able to take based on this degree.”
Mattioli is also looking forward to the event and hopes it goes well.
“This is the first of its kind,” she said. “[This event will] work with the sophomore class to enhance understanding to the overall alumni experience.”