2017 Alumni Forum
|Throughout our 37-year history, the SALT Center has had the privilege of watching thousands of students graduate from college and move into professions that they love. This year, the recently formed SALT Center Alumni Board wanted to share their experience and expertise with our enrolled students in order to help them make a successful transition from college to career.
“The SALT Center gave me tools like organization, time management, leadership skills, and study skills that helped me become an effective competitor in the workforce,” says Shaun Brown, Class of 2009. Shaun and his fellow board members hoped to show current students that the techniques they learn at the SALT Center will do more than help them graduate; they’ll also help them in their profession. By expanding on last year’s incredibly successful Alumni Panel, the board created an even more comprehensive and engaging experience: the SALT Center Alumni Forum.
The board began preparing for this event in October of 2016, supported by an on-site planning committee of volunteer SALT Center team members. Many of the alums on the board participated in the Alumni Panel, and felt it would be a critical launching point for the Alumni Forum. However, they also wanted to create more time and opportunities to connect directly with students.
Facilitating a deeper connection with students was paramount to the board’s ability to address a very specific concern for our population: how to manage a learning difference in the workplace. Beyond the basics of interview tips and resume-writing, they wanted to create a safe space where students could ask questions and get answers that they might not find anywhere else.
After weeks of planning and deliberation, the event program was finalized, and the date was set. On Saturday, February 25th, seven alumni from across the country returned to the UA campus for an afternoon of networking with roughly 30 student attendees. The alums came ready to share their expertise from a variety of fields, including engineering, retail, finance, marketing, and more.
The Alumni Forum began with a 45-minute panel, followed by small-group sessions, where pairs of alums shared a summary of their professional journey and answered additional student questions. Everyone enjoyed mingling during lunch before wrapping things up with a networking session, during which students rotated through alumni “stations” at their own pace.
Lauren Trattner, Class of 1995, expressed her desire for what students would take away from the event: “I hope students leave the Alumni Forum feeling more comfortable about their preparedness for job interviews and life after college.” Based on the feedback we’ve received from students and team members, it seems that this came to fruition - students left with some great connections and advice, a handout full of useful suggestions prepared by our alums, and a confidence boost as they prepare to enter the workplace.
You can look forward to more highlights from this event in our upcoming SALT Center Journal.