Students and Alumni Linked Together (SALT) brings students and alumni together to help students prepare for their future careers. For the last four years, SALT has hosted the Careers Connecting Cobbers event, which gives students an opportunity to learn about what life is like after Concordia and receive information about what it is like to work in the careers they might be interested in. The panels have a wide variety of information for students with many career interests. Students also have the chance to create connections with the alumni and open opportunities there.
The day starts with welcome and registration. The first section of the events begins with keynote speaker Jesse Almlie, a ‘95 Concordia graduate. Her session is called “Leading When You’re Not in Charge.” This keynote presentation is followed by the Young Alumni Panel. SALT’s Director of Professional Development, Kirsten Grafstrom, discussed how recent graduates shared their experiences with students.
“They talk about what life is like after Concordia and answer questions from that panel,” Grafstrom said.
She mentioned that this is one of the panels that students seem to like the most. After the Young Alumni Panel, students separate into break-out panels by major. There are 4 groups: business, STEM, arts and humanities, and education. During these sessions, alumni will share with students their experiences in these professions. The last panel is called “Growing After Graduation.” This covers life after graduation in many areas, including graduate school, the service sector, and more. Grafstrom mentioned that many students and alumni will talk about life for students who move to a new city or stay in the Fargo-Moorhead area.
Mckenzie Grafstrom, SALT’s Careers Connecting Cobbers Chair, talked about the networking lunch that happens at the end. Everyone gathers together for lunch, which gives students a chance to create connections with Cobber alumni. These conversations can connect students to future jobs or guidance in future careers.
Another opportunity for students attending the event is professional development. Professional Development Committee Member Tyler Tessmann said, “The Career Center comes in for resume reviews and headshots as part of the professional development opportunities at the event.”
Kristin Gaftstrom discussed a goal that SALT has for Careers Connecting Cobbers over the next year, recruiting more students and increasing attendance, and how to build on last year in terms of the people coming to the events.
“We’ve increased our attendance from the year before last to last year. Our goal is to recruit more students,” she said.
Careers Connecting Cobbers is just one opportunity that students have to interact and create connections with alumni. SALT puts on other events throughout the year that allow students to get more involved with alumni too.
“Our organization plans more events than just this one. We’re on social media, so we post about our events. We have lots of opportunities. We’re having a career summit on April 18th in Minneapolis. We’re taking students down to connect with alumni outside the FM area,” Grafstrom said.
SALT also puts on philanthropy events throughout the year, such as Project Linus, and invites alumni to these events as well.
“We’re always trying to find new ways to connect with our alumni,” McKenzie Grafstrom said.
SALT has many opportunities for students to be involved with alumni and learn more about career opportunities that might be available to them after leaving Concordia.
Students can find out more about SALT and the events they put on throughout the year on their Instagram and Facebook pages.
Careers Connecting Cobbers is Saturday, February 1, from 9 AM to 2 PM. Registration is open now, with a $5 payment needed for lunch.