Alumni guide students at career fair


Clad in their name tags bearing their graduation years, Elizabeth Potter ‘10 and Christine Olson ‘92 smile at the passers-by hoping to inspire and complete the hiring cycle that helped get them their jobs.

Potter and Olson, along with many alumni representatives attended the career fair to network with students on behalf of the companies they represent.

As DePauw alumni, the two representatives from Starcom Mediavest felt comfortable sharing their experiences with the company and encouraging students to apply for entry-level positions and internships. Potter she said she felt compelled to help her friends and classmates in their employment searches.

"I love reconnecting and feeling like I can help the students that helped me grow as a person by giving them some direction post-graduation," Potter said.

Her role at the Starcom Mediavest was to attract those she met in her time at DePauw so that she and Olson could share information about the company. Olson said she was more of "the old lady along for the ride." Potter tries to tailor her presentation of the company to match prospective applicants' interests.

"I wouldn't want to force fit anything, but I would want to make sure they understand enough about the company to see if it's a fit for them as well," Olson said.

Senior Katie Tangri found having recent graduates represent the companies made them more approachable.

"The DePauw connection is so important in knowing that they'll tell me the truth and they've had such good experiences I know that I can probably fit in there as well," Tangri said.

Freshman Perla Torres felt less welcome at the Starcom table and the Career Fair in general due to her age. She said she felt few people offered anything for freshmen and did not care to waste time speaking with her.

"Some were helpful, but for most of the people there, when they heard I was only a freshman, they sort of pushed me away saying they were really only looking for juniors and seniors," Torres said.

Potter and Olson generally sought the older students because they had more to offer them. They advised younger students to apply for internships in order to gain experience and to get their names in the company's machinery. The two shared tips with each individual who visited as to how to succeed in the application process and get in contact with other DePauw alumni.

Steve Langerud, Director of Professional Opportunities, explained that alumni from DePauw greatly value their ties and where their ties have gotten them in their careers and often extend those ties to graduates.

"In the year and a half that I've been here I've been very impressed with the skills students bring to the table. They compete very, very well in the job market," Langerud said.

As Potter and Olson await news of employment for their fellow DePauw alums, they continue to speak with students hoping they can provide them a place at Starcom Mediavest that "fits" for both sides.