Seniors learn from alumni at Senior Career Conference

// Posted
David Smart and other students listen as Paul Angone explains ways for current Texas Christian University seniors to make the most of their 20s. (Caitlin Goheen/TCU360) Texas Christian University seniors take notes during the Senior Career Conference. (Caitlin Goheen/TCU360) Paul Angone speaks to Texas Christian University seniors on staying true to what they're passionate about. (Caitlin Goheen/TCU360) Current Texas Christian University seniors seek career advice from TCU graduates. (Caitlin Goheen/TCU360) Paul Angone speaks to TCU seniors on making the most of their 20s. (Caitlin Goheen/TCU360)

Six years ago Jason Jacobus sat in a sea of graduating seniors at the TCU Senior Career Conference listening to a panel of alumni give tips on how to get a job after graduation.

On Saturday, Jacobus attended his fifth straight Senior Career Conference as a member of the panel.

“It’s a way for us to field honest questions from outgoing seniors on what the real world is like,” he said. “We get a lot of honest responses from people who’ve been there done that so there’s some credibility that sits on the panel.”

Over 500 seniors registered for the 2013 TCU Senior Career Conference, which is 100 more than last year, Jennifer Reitz, marketing coordinator for TCU Career Services, said.

Creating digital portfolios, using the networking site LinkedIn for professional success and understanding work benefits were among the sessions seniors attended.

Jacobus, who graduated with a psychology degree in 2007 and has moderated the alumni panel for the past two years, said the event can be beneficial to a student if they take just one thing away that helps them get a job.

Senior business marketing and entrepreneurial management double major Kristin Rollins said the panel was very honest and candid with the seniors and made them aware of the world outside of TCU.

“We need to realize that it’s not all purple and white everywhere,” Rollins said. “It’s difficult to get a job and they made that clear and I think that’s what was eye opening to a bunch of people and really helped us.”

The oldest member of the alumni panel graduated in 2008 and two members graduated in 2012.

Jacobus said he returned as a moderator because he enjoyed the panel as a senior and being on the other side allows him to give back.

“A lot of the people that sat on the panel when I was a senior really kind of shaped the direction I went when I graduated,” Jacobus said.

Rollins said leaving TCU in May and being in the middle of her job search are ideas that put knots in her stomach.

Seeing the alumni on the panel and attending the conference gave her comfort that it is possible to get a job after graduation by being herself, she said.

The conference helps seniors learn work, balance, character and career skills, Reitz said.

“We feel like the job market is competitive enough as it is and this kind of just gives TCU students that extra launch that they need to get their career going,” she said.

This was the third year in a row the event was held in the Brown-Lupton University Union and was free to TCU students.

The next TCU Career Services event is Accounting Firm Night on Feb. 6 at 5 p.m. in Smith 104.

For more information visit careers.tcu.edu.

See a problem with this story? Tell us about it.