Alumni mentoring students at the office

Sixteen Ripon College students will travel to Chicago during Fall Break, Oct. 19-23, as part of the Career Discovery Tour to gain first-hand knowledge of a variety of careers from Ripon College alumni.

Access to alumni networking and career opportunities are hallmarks of the student experience at Ripon. The program, made possible thanks to gifts from members of the Alumni Board and other alumni, has proven to be instrumental in continuing this tradition and demonstrating the breadth and depth of a Ripon degree.

Amy Gerretsen, director of Constituent Engagement and Career Services, says “The Career Discovery Tour shows students how Ripon can take them from classes to career and highlights the value of a liberal arts and sciences education by showcasing that a student’s major does not dictate what their job will be.

“The Alumni board and the Trustees really believe in the value of the Career Discovery Tour, and having them put their money where their mouth is in order to make the trip possible for students is important. This trip is a great opportunity for the alumni, as well, because they get to showcase their careers and what they’ve accomplished with what Ripon College gave them. We couldn’t
do what we’re doing without them.”

Two alumni who have taken part in planning these tours and contributed financially to them are Dan McNaughton ’86 of Bloomington, Minnesota, chair of Career Services Committee, and Michelle Buss ’95 of Grafton, Wisconsin, outgoing Advancement Committee chair.

McNaughton, owner of EGP Inc., hosted students during a Career Discovery Tour to Minneapolis-St. Paul last spring. “We are very proud to be able to fund the tour to give students this opportunity,” McNaughton says. “It really helps connect alumni with the current students and inspires alumni to see how spectacular the students are — which prompts them to donate more to the College to fund events such as this trip.”

Buss says that when members of the Alumni Board were presented with the idea of the Career Discovery Tour, “The Alumni Board immediately embraced this idea as a perfect opportunity to combine its passion and purpose to engage alumni and support current students.

“The Alumni Board feels strongly that this initiative should be affordable and not a burden to the highly motivated students who are giving up their fall or spring break to think about their future career paths.”

During the upcoming trip to Chicago, participating students will get the chance to talk with numerous alumni and visit their places of work to learn more about the fields in which these alumni work. Students will meet with people working in business, law, education and medicine.

Some of the participants will be Tom Abendroth ’81, partner and attorney at Schiff Hardin LLP; Dr. Philip McCullough ’69, physician at Philip K. McCullough, MD, S.C.; Dr. Jonathan Muraskas ’78, interim dean for medical school admission at Loyola University Medical Center; and Benjamin Garland ’12, business development manager of the Healthcare IT Division at TotalMed Staffing.

Because of the financial support for the Career Discovery Tour program, the cost of going on the tour has been greatly reduced to $200 per student.

Emily Mengert ’15
Marion, Wisconsin


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