Over two days recently Cardinal Gibbons students had the opportunity to learn about possible internships and career paths from 23 Gibbons Alumni and several area businesses at the Alumni Career Expo.
Associate Director of Alumni Advancement Susan Leigh ’87 said the Alumni Career Expo, held March 22 and 23 during lunch periods, was a chance for alumni to share their expertise and offer recommendations about college majors and careers to current students. “This year, we launched a new two-day format to make the event more interactive and give our students two experiences to engage with alumni, discover a passion, build networking connections for the future, and even land an internship,” she said.
At the Industry Insider kick-off event, held March 22, students were invited to TED Talk style presentations by three Gibbons Alumni - Bryan McGann ’79, Steve Lopiano ’82, and Alan Sheridan ’09 – who shared their success stories with and offered career advice to students. Tips they gave attendees included:
Have a passion for what you do. Be a go-getter. Be willing to fail. The career you think you want to pursue now, may very likely change. You don’t need to know exactly what you are going to do when you graduate high school or even college.
On March 23, students had the chance to talk one-on-one with the alumni, who are employed across the region in various fields, ranging from biotechnology and health and wellness, to media and software. (View full list of alumni and their companies.) Through Internship Alley, sponsored by iCube, students had the chance to learn about internships from 10 companies hoping to hire Gibbons students as interns.
"This year, we launched a new two-day format to make the event more interactive and give our students two experiences to engage with alumni, discover a passion, build networking connections for the future, and even land an internship,” said Associate Director of Alumni Advancement Susan Leigh '87.
Recognizing that teenagers face tough decisions as they contemplate the future, the graduates said the Alumni Career Expo was an opportunity to help students decide which classes to take in college and which careers to pursue. Doing so, they said, is a way to give back and stay connected with their alma mater.
"I've found that Gibbons and the community it fosters prepared me for so much, whether it was which classes to take in college or dealing with others in a workplace,” said Catherine Currin ’12, an assistant editor at WALTER Magazine. “I'd love to play a role in that for current students and hope to give them a broader network to tap into and provide an additional resource in the Raleigh community."
Oliver McCann ’18, who attended both days of the Career Expo, said he liked the two-day format because, “it gave more time for students to interface with the alumni.” From the presentation on day one, McCann continued, he knew which company he was interested in and returned the next day to seek an internship.
At the Expo McCann, who plans to study engineering or biomedical engineering in college, handed the alumnus his resume and landed an interview. He described the experience as valuable.
The Alumni Career Expo, said Leigh, showed the willingness our graduates have to mentor current students, ensuring they are on the best path for success in high school, college, and beyond.