Alumni and Sophomores Network at SophoMORE Connections Weekend


Taking Care of Business

Students and alumni combatted the snow to arrive back on campus for Colgate’s annual alumni networking event for sophomore students, SophoMORE Connections, which took place on January 18 and 19.

Over the two day event, 100 alumni volunteers along with Colgate faculty and staff organized panels, focus groups, dinners and speeches to expose 425 sophomore students to the professional world. Attendees jumped right into their busy schedules, which began for most students with attempting to find the perfect business-casual outfit.

Students received their nametags and their weekend began with “First Stop,”an introduction session led by alumni that included tips on how to capitalize on the opportunities that sophomores would be presented with over the weekend.

Next, students participated in a workshop sequence called “Colgate and Your Career.” In these workshops, faculty and alumni explained how to approach internship, research and job opportunities. Students could select to attend “Networking 101,” “Building a LinkedIn Profile,” “Starting your Internship Search” or “Thinking about Grad School.” Workshop leaders gave their advice on how to take advantage of opportunities offered by Colgate and alumni.

Throughout the first day, students were asked to register their events on Colgate’s mobile app so they could later receive information about opportunities related to the topics they learned about.

During a seminar, career advisor Kat Kolozsvary emphasized that the mobile registration helps create a clear path for students to continue their search based on events they attended.

Students were given opportunities to attend two of these workshops, while faculty and staff set up coffee and snacks in Colgate’s newest building fully funded by alumni, Benton Hall.

These sessions were followed by “Lunch and Learn” seminars, where students brought their lunches to panels of peers who had already taken advantage of internships, independent studies and travel opportunities. Topics included Health and Wellness, Government and Law, Creative Industries and Non-Profit.

Senior Julia Klein sat on the Creative Industries panel.

“I really enjoyed being able to share my experiences and intern- ship search with the sophomores. Networking and professionalism are skills that I’ve learned and practiced throughout my time at Col- gate, so it’s really rewarding to feel like they’ve paid off, and that I can help someone else,” Klein said.

Following lunch, students attended their first “Career Clusters.” These consisted of a panel of alumni in a certain field who discussed their experiences at Colgate and the trajectories in their respective fields. These panels covered finance, entrepreneurship, consulting, journalism and advertising.

Sophomore Bella Gonzalez said she was excited by the opportunity to learn from professionals in her field interests during Career Clusters, and was reassured by what they had to say. 

“I thought that hearing from people who worked in my field interest was useful in the fact that it showed how many different opportunities there are,” Gonzalez said. “It was reassuring that each alumnus majored in something different but all ended up in a similar field.”

Students then attended their first one-on-one networking event, “Creating Connections Gathering, powered by the Col- gate Professional Networks,” where they had the opportunity to practice networking and to talk with alumni in a casual setting.

Day one closed with a dinner featuring remarks from Keynote Speaker Clarissa Shah ’10. Shah is a commercial sales attorney at LinkedIn, and her speech was titled “Let Me Convince You to Change Your Mind: Embracing a Growth Mindset.”

On January 19, there was another set of “Career Clusters” and a new seminar titled “Food for Thought.” These seminars were specified to certain communities or skills such as “Practice Your Pitch” or “Supporting People of Color in the Professional Space.”

Due to the snow storm predicted for the afternoon of the 19th, all events after 12 p.m. were cancelled so alumni could get home safely.

Sophomore Benjamin Morss enjoyed the personal aspect to the event.

“My favorite part of Sophomore Connections was the way it encouraged personal interaction between alumni and students,” Morss said.

Contact Kelsey McGeough at [email protected]