Alumni help students with future plans

By Rachael Yaeger |

From internships and graduate school to job placement and career advice, Kathy O’Keefe, director of Alumni Relations, and Joe Riley, assistant director of Alumni Relations, are looking to inspire students through the Student Alumni Association.

“A lot of students graduate and they have questions: What next? What do I do now?” Riley said. “We have alumni out there who work for insurance companies, law firms, business owners, executives. We can answer a lot of questions that the students have.”

In the competitive marketplace today, students can look to alumni for information and assistance. Flagler has a very young alumni base, with at least 4,500 graduates from 1968 to 1995. With a total of 10,000 Flagler alumni by 2008, it makes sense to start introducing students to “people that they won’t be exposed to in any other realm on campus,” said O’Keefe. “One student wanted an internship in Beijing or Asia, and we have about 18 alums there.”

The Student Alumni Association is governed by a board of current students and the goal of the board is getting ideas, issues and feedback from other students to have seminars with topics students want to hear about.

“I think it’s important that a school have its students and alumni connect for future career possibilities, for internships and advice,” said Jonathan Growick, a senior who is on the Student Alumni Association Board of Students.

Hearing about life management like starting a career, getting married, buying a car or home, paying student loans and fulfilling life goals will hopefully “light a fire under someone,” said Riley.

Former Director of Alumni Relations Nancy Thompson established the organization and it’s been on a six-year hiatus. There was a brief Student Alumni Association in 2000.

“It is a great thing for kids that don’t know what they want to do,” junior Morgan Milders said. “Maybe they’ll be inspired by seeing someone who has been successful with their degree.”

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