The 1787 Room was filled with students and alumni from a variety of majors seated at round tables and getting to know each other while snacking on some seasonal food like cider and cider doughnuts.
It was Nov. 9, and Castleton seniors and alumni gathered for the Senior Class Social. It marked the fifth year that the Alumni Office officials, alumni and senior class members have gathered to celebrate and help the seniors who are graduating in December and May network and prepare for the real world.
“Graduating seniors get the chance to connect with an alum in their major. Each year it’s grown and grown. A lot of alumni come back, which is what we hope for,” said Mary Quinn ’60, one member of the Alumni Board who helped put on the event.
The idea of the event is to give current seniors a chance to connect with alumni who have made it into the workforce since their time at Castleton and ease the minds of seniors who are nervous about life after CU.
Toni Lobdell, from the classes of 1971 and 1986, said the event started as a celebration for seniors who were graduating in December, but parents suggested that they have alumni come socialize the next year. Since they didn’t want to leave anyone out, they also invited seniors graduating in May.
“We invite alumni from all fields to come answer questions and network with students … Alumni love to have seniors contact them asking about jobs,” Lobdell said.
Students were taking the opportunity to learn more about what other people from their major are doing after graduation.
Patrick Shortle, from the class of 2011, was a theater major and music minor at Castleton who currently works for a beer distributing company. He has also been a volunteer firefighter, and para-educator.
“I can talk to students about that fear of “what am I going to do” because I had that for almost two years and can help put their minds at ease,” Shortle said.
Seeing where alums are now did help ease student’s minds.
“It’s cool to see where they interned versus where they are now,” said Lacy Parmenter, a senior communication student.
Students got the chance to see that they might not necessarily end up where they think they will, and were told that it’s ok.
Shortle has done some theater since graduating from Castleton, like in the “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” where he met his wife, and an improv show, which he said would be his main source of theater if possible.
“Making connections and the more people you meet means you can add more to your resume,” Shortle said.
He said that it’s good to explore your options because you don’t know where you’ll end up.
“I like seeing the variety of jobs,” said Catherine Twing, a senior communication student.
People who graduated with journalism concentrations are now working in public relations and one for the Alumni Office at Castleton, but like Shortle, they said they are happy where they are in life and excited to share that with seniors.
“We’re hoping for younger alumni to come back because it’s one way for them to give back,” Quinn said.