Alumni inspire students at ‘5 under 5’ event

At the 5 Under 5 event, a group of five SVSU alumni who recently graduated address students regarding their experiences after college. Vanguard Photographer | Ryan Pelletier

Forever Red, an RSO at Saginaw Valley State University, held a “5 under 5” event as a part of “I Heart SV Week”.

The event featured five alumni who have graduated within the past five years representing each of the five colleges.

The alumni talked about their experiences at SVSU, including being involved on campus, volunteering while in college, and how some of their professors influenced them during their time here.

Katey Vanscoy, an SVSU alumna who graduated with an History, said that one professor’s words had a major impact on her.

“On the first day of class, [History Professor Kenneth Jolly] always said ‘Don’t let school get in the way of your education.’ That really stuck with me and pushed me to go outside of my comfort zone and join organizations and to events.”

Steve Hensly, who graduated with an M.A. in public administration, stressed the importance of networking while in school to aid in future careers.

“Networking events allow students to make face-to-face connections, shake hands and exchange business cards with existing professionals – which can provide a potential lead, and offer a leg-up when applying for a job,” he said.

He said that utilizing the services SVSU provides students was important.

“The SVSU Career Services office and SVSU Alumni office have been doing an exceptional job on curating ways to progressively connect students and soon-to-be grads with professionals and employers in the region – attending such events can have enormous value.”

Hensly also offers some advice to students about future jobs after college.

“My last tidbit of advice would be for students to be conscious that their first job and even their second or third may not be their aspiring dream job, and that is normal,” he said. “However, I would encourage students to not become discouraged, but to find value and to learn from their experiences amid every opportunity and career juncture.”

The alumni were also asked about job interviews, and all agreed that good advice to students is to ask questions.

Aisleen Morr, who graduated with a master of social work degree, said one impactful question that could be asked is, “What would my biggest learning curve be in this position?”

She went on to explain “this forces the interviewer to imagine you in the position. It will keep you in their head for decisions.”

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