Campus Spotlight: Career Discovery Tour – Chicago

Bringing Alumni and Students Together

This spring, Ripon College embarked on a new career development initiative, the Career Discovery Tour, to further expand student-alumni career networking opportunities. President Messitte and the Alumni Board of Directors are passionate about offering new and exciting opportunities for current students to gain first-hand knowledge of a variety of careers and cities directly from Ripon alumni. With special funding from the Alumni Board and others, the inaugural Chicago Tour brought twelve current students to Chicago to connect with alumni and learn about their careers and organizations, while providing insights and tips on marketing a liberal arts degree. The Tour traveled to five alumni site visits and included an evening networking reception.

Students came away from the tour with a better understanding of the current job market and the confidence to go out and network and effectively market themselves to potential employers. Plans are already underway for the fall Tour, which will be heading to Washington, D.C. during fall break in October 2013.

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Student testimonials:

Emily Summers and Danna Yu

Emily Summers ’13 and Danna Yu ’13

The trip gave me a real feeling of how the real world works and changed my opinions about the trading and marketing industry. I loved the connections I made during the trip because they will lead me to different directions in the future. The trip was truly amazing!
-Danna Yu ’13

The fun I had in Chicago was outweighed only by the amount that I learned. The Career Discovery Tour is an invaluable opportunity to explore professional pathways and learn from the experiences of alumni. It left me feeling even more connected to Ripon and (thankfully) more prepared to tackle the “real world.” My greatest hope is that someday I will be the alum that Ripon students get to visit. Thank you to all who helped make this and future Career Discovery Tours possible.
-Emily Summers ’13

Emma Jelinek and Alicia Barnes

Emma Jelinek ’14 and Alicia Barnes ’14

I am incredibly grateful that Ripon College gave me the opportunity to travel to Chicago over Spring Break to meet with our own alumni that have found success in the Chicago area. Each of the five tours we had was insightful and full of advice for when I graduate from college. It was also great to experience the culture and liveliness of downtown Chicago. I could definitely see myself living in a city like Chicago, and this trip proved that it is possible for Ripon graduates to do so! The experience was priceless, and I enjoyed getting to meet so many alumni and learning about their career paths. I hope that one day I can be a part of it again, but as an alumna!
-Emma Jelinek ’14



Laila Sultan ’13 and Diakeishaye Murphy ’13

Laila Sultan ’13 and Diakeishaye Murphy ’13

This trip was a wonderful opportunity to meet alumni in the Chicago area, as well as view many different successful Ripon alumni in the workplace. I would encourage all those who can attend these trips to go and see all that Ripon is getting us ready for. I would also like to encourage current alumni to really get involved with this program as it creates wonderful networking opportunities and strengthens alumni relationships with students. The experience was truly rewarding, the people were welcoming, and the food was great. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
-Diakeishaye Murphy ’13

Career Discovery Participants, 2013

The group of twelve students on the Career Discovery Tour, pictured with Associate Dean of Students and Director of Career Development Tom Vaubel ’79, Board of Trustees Chair Bob Kirkland ’81, and Director of Alumni and Parent Relations Amy Gabriel Gerretsen ’04.

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