By VINCENT SMIROLDO
On Feb. 19, with the help of Dean Lynne Richardson, the College of Business (COB) hosted an event called Life in the Fast Lane. For this event, COB alumni from the class of 2018 came back to Fredericksburg and spoke to undergraduates about what they can do to ease the transition from school to the workplace.
Dean of the College of Business and a marketing professor, Richardson has been leading most career advice events within the COB.
“Just getting started with the job search seems to be tough for most students,” said Richardson. “If they don’t know exactly what they want to do post-UMW, they are almost paralyzed and cannot take the first steps.”
Having UMW alumni speak to current students at these events helps to answer many questions that students may have and hopefully ease any fear or intimidation undergrads may have when it comes to pursuing a career. A common mistake students make is waiting too long and not using the UMW network to help aid them in their post-UMW life.
Davis King is a senior majoring in business administration. He is planning pursue a career in commercial real-estate.
“It would be great to hear people that are close to our age because they are able to easier to relate to what we as students are about to go through entering the workforce,” said King. “They just went through the experiences that we are about embark on and it is comforting to hear what they have to say and what we can use from their experiences to succeed.”
These experiences that are shared can be for people that have jobs set up for after college or for people that are still in the process of looking for jobs. Overall, these events are a good way for students to network and hear about real-world experiences.
“Start now. Use your networks, including faculty, Career Center staff, your parents and your parents’ friend,” said Richardson.
At the Life in the Fast Lane event, five 2018 graduates spoke to current undergraduates.
Alumni included Caroline Mosenger, Brittany Mcbride, Chris Russotti, Dan Clark and Sarah Karwowski who all work in various business-related fields.
“It was intimidating at first going into an industry I knew very little about, but I made sure to ask questions and did my best to understand anything in front of me,” said Russotti.
Going into the “real world” can be very intimidating and some industries are a sink or swim kind of environment. Communication as a new employee is key to becoming more comfortable in a new environment. These kind of experiences are just some of the many that Russotti hopes to touch on and share with current undergraduates.
Throughout the remainder of the semester, the COB plans to hold more events where UMW alumni and local businesses speak to current undergraduates.
“We do many events where alumni return to the College of Business, but this is the one we specifically bring previous year’s grads back to talk about their transition to the workplace,” said Richardson.
The COB plans to have the first dinner with the Dean on March 11. They also are hosting Career Chats on March 26 and 27 where over 40 business classes will have business alumni come to classes to speak about certain career paths students can pursue. This is another opportunity for COB students to expand their network and get information about industries and more career advice for students post-UMW.