Why You Should Care About Alumni


Bailey Campbell, Staff Writer

As students, we frequently ask ourselves, “How the hell am I going to find a job after college?” After all of this hard work, it feels like we’re going to have to struggle to find a career and make money to pay off our overwhelming amounts of debt. But not to fear! Alumni are here! I talked with Ms. Lynn Downie in the Career Services Department about relationships between alumni and current students and what alumni have to offer to current students as well as to the school.

If you don’t already know, Ms. Downie is a Presbyterian College alum.

“Among my classmates, many of their children come to PC to continue their College Education,” she said.

I asked her what exactly the relationship is between alumni and current students of Presbyterian College. She said that “a lot of seniors are close to recently graduated alumni, so they already have a peer relationship.” Not only is it important to have peer relationships with alumni, but also to have professional relationships with them, which “don’t grow over night,” according to Downie.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. A lot of students tend to be age-centric while in school, but once they enter the workforce, they begin to realize that the workplace isn’t like that. Getting to know alumni gives students the opportunity to interact outside of an age specific setting. Some of the alumni of Presbyterian College may even eventually end up being your boss, or even the person sitting at the desk right next to you.

A network of interactions is built upon relationships. It’s important to participate in organizations and events held for those groups because alumni often come to these functions. This gives you a chance to start constructing relationships with them. PC alumni have an unfathomable amount of wisdom and insight about the economy and the world we live in, and you can learn much from them about their experiences, both social and professional.

I asked Ms. Downie what she thought alumni have to offer current students of Presbyterian College.

“Shared interests,” she immediately responded.

She shared a brief example with me in which an alum called because he was exploring internship opportunities. She said that it’s simply “a shared interest and you are able to work together more effectively.” Alumni also add value to your student experience by inviting you to meetings as well as other events where you have opportunities to network even more. There are always alumni recruiting on campus who actually want to pay it forward to the next generation.

Lastly, I asked what exactly PC alumni have to offer to the school itself. Again, an immediate response: “Financial support.” But, she said that “it goes beyond the dollars, and students can be a part of that by being given grants that are provided by the alumni themselves.” It is a statement. Downie then went on to talk about how after students graduate from PC, they continue to live by our motto “while we live, we serve” with an ongoing commitment to service. The alumni also offer moral support and encouragement that is “easily seen in athletics because [they are] very public,” she said.

She also mentioned something I thought was quite significant and interesting as a student: there is a group called “LinkedIn” where past, present, and future PC students can connect professionally with alums of the college. I do not think enough students know about this incredible tool that is right at their fingertips.

I hope you’re convinced that alumni are very important resources for your future as well as your present education. Do not wait to start building connections with them. They are more than happy to talk with you about your future and assist you in the career path you wish to go down.