Scores of current students hoping to gain a new perspective on their majors and career options met with 16 alumni on October 28 for the first Meet the Majors event. The event was a collaborative effort between Jackie Medenblik ’82, director of the Cooper Career and Counseling Center, and Travis Bandstra ’06, director of the alumni office.
Alumni Nathan Vis ’07, an attorney at Rhame and Elwood in Portage, Indiana, and Jennifer Navarro ’01, a PR consultant in Chicago, opened the evening by addressing the entire group. They spoke about their Trinity experience, their education and job search following graduation, and their current careers.
Students and alumni then broke into small groups representing nine majors. Alumni who had majored in accounting, business, biology, chemistry, communication arts, psychology, sociology, nursing, and political science answered students’ questions about their Trinity education, job search, and career choices, whether directly related to their former major or enriched by it.
“College prepares, trains, and places students in positions to meet those who are actively working in the fields they are interested in,” said Vis, who this year graduated from Valparaiso University School of Law and passed the Indiana State Bar exam. “Alumni can offer not only possible job leads, but invaluable insight into job application and creative ways to enter various fields.”
Navarro, who earned an MBA from Roosevelt University in Chicago, talked with students about the different career options available to communication arts majors and specific ways to begin networking. Navarro said that the students asked questions about how to find potential employers, what to expect on the job, and how to best present their work experience and portfolios.
“I believe they found it beneficial to hear about the different career paths they might take and to learn about some of the professional resources available to them now as students,” she said. “I was encouraged and inspired by the students’ obvious drive to become impactful, compassionate communicators wherever they go.”
Medenblik said the event was born out of the annual alumni networking event when students voiced a desire to have more face-time with alumni in their respective majors. The departments plan to offer this opportunity annually to the students.
Tracy Afman ’04, Music Teacher/Volleyball Coach, Wilbur Wright Middle School
Pam Cook ’07, Clinical Psychology doctoral student, Midwestern University
Tina Decker ’06, Assistant Nursing Professor, Trinity Christian College
Dale Derks ’00, Senior Staff, CBIZ Accounting, Tax and Advisory Services
Tammy DeVries ’01, Accountant, CBIZ Accounting, Tax and Advisory Services
Mary Freeman ’07, 6th Grade Language Arts Teacher/ Drama Instructor, Kelvin Grove Middle School
Joyce Iwema ’06, Rush University Medical student
Tim Kastner ’06, Training and Organizational Development, Lutheran Child & Family Services
Amanda Keene ’09, Social Service Ministry Director, Salvation Army - Crossgenerations
Susana Medina Lopez ’09, United Power for Action and Justice
Jeff Miller ’08, IT Consultant, Sperco
Mary Post ’07, recent genetic counseling graduate student, Northwestern University
Jennifer Slagter Navarro ’01, Freelancing/PR Consulting
Rich Tameling ’09, Financial Representative, Northwest Mutual Financial Network
Nathan Vis ’07, Assistant Attorney, Rhame & Elwood Attorneys at Law