The Alumni Relations Department has partnered with Career Services to launch a series of events referred to as "Table Talks." The talks are designed to not only allow Newman students the opportunity to talk to professionals who have graduated with their major, but also to bring back alumni to the university and allow them to reconnect with younger students who are the future of their field.
The first of the Table Talks was hosted on March 13 in the Mabee Dining Center, where lunch was provided to students who were not already on a meal plan. Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving Sarah Strole reached out to alumni, asking if any would be willing to participate. Three alumni returned to Newman to speak about what they have done in the professional world after obtaining their degrees in accounting.
The alumni briefly spoke to the 31 students in attendance about their degrees and experiences before breaking into smaller groups. In these groups, the conversational atmosphere allowed students to ask the alumni more direct questions about skill sets requirement in the professional world, how to get internships, as well as what kind of accounting experience jobs would require.
Newman alumnus Adrian Webb participated in the Table Talks and said that when Strole contacted him about attending, he thought it was a great idea. Webb loved his experience at Newman, but said one area that could be improved was the preparation he received for getting a job in the accounting field.
"This was my chance to fill the gap that I thought I was missing from my time at Newman," Webb said. "This was a good way for students to hear from alums in the working world in the profession they are choosing."
Director of Career Services and Cooperative Education Melody Head said the Table Talk was a success and a second round is already in the works. Currently, talk revolves around hosting a law-related lunch, though nothing has been set in stone. Head says there are hopes of getting one more Table Talk in before the end of the year, but she is unsure if the logistics work out. No matter how scheduling plays out in the final months of this year, the success of this first event has ensured the continuance of the Table Talks into the 2017-2018 academic year.