Alumni networking with students

More Homecoming-related activities are being hosted this year than ever before, as students have the opportunity to attend 50-plus events this weekend.
However, they won’t be the only ones present.
Several events this weekend are geared toward alumni. And many events are offered for both students and alumni, providing students the opportunity to network with former Braves.
“I certainly think it’s a fantastic opportunity to take advantage,” said Lori Fan, executive director of alumni relations. “When there’s so many alumni on campus – that’s a fabulous way to network with people from all around the country.”
Executive Director of the Smith Career Center Jane Linnenburger said she agreed.
“All of the colleges will be hosting tailgate tents for the Big Fiesta,” she said. “That is a great opportunity for students to interact and network with alumni, faculty and staff.”
The Big Fiesta is 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday at Shea Stadium and will also feature a Mexican food buffet, games and music by Mike & Joe.
Fan said in addition to the tailgate party, academic departments and social organizations are hosting specialized events to educate and provide networking opportunities.
There are also three alumni groups directed toward doing the same – the Bradley University Communications Alumni Network, BU Forensics Alumni Network and the BU Black Alumni Alliance.
“I completely believe in groups like BUCAN,” said Recruiting Chairperson for the communications group Diane Cronin. “There’s opportunities to talk to alumni who want to help you out, mentor you, give you experience. What do you have to lose?”
She also said she landed her job thanks partially to alumni help.
“If you get involved in a group like BUCAN, and you know three or four professionals, they can give you an internal reference,” Cronin said. “If you can network with alumni it gives you leverage over the next person applying for a job.”
BUCAN has a meeting at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in  the Horowitz Auditorium.
The communications department is also hosting the lecture ‘The Business of Entertainment’ at 11 a.m. today in the Horowitz Auditorium.
The goal of the event is for alumni to describe and provide tips about breaking into the entertainment industry.
“Our graduates can provide important guidance and advice to our students,” said Paul Gullifor, chairperson for the communications department. “Networking becomes more important than ever in a tight job market. Bradley graduates like to hire other Bradley graduates.”
The Foster College of Business Administration is also hosting a reception for busin

ess alumni at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Markin Family Student Recreation Center.
Students are also invited for food, a short presentation and to tour the Markin Center with alumni, before the group heads over to the tailgate together.
Another event to provide opportunities is the BU Networking and Alumni Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in the Michel Student Center. This event is designed to educate alumni about giving back to the university, but will also include a speed networking session.
The university is also hosting many alumni-focused events to help those who may have lost their jobs during the economic downfall or are looking for new opportunities.
For a complete list of Homecoming events, visit www.bualum.org/homecoming/.