Because I have one month left of being a student here at Illinois, I am looking toward to life past graduation. It’s a bittersweet feeling being a senior here at Illinois. I am not looking forward to being an adult with very real adult responsibilities. However, the excitement of a new adventure and new chapter in my life is truly thrilling. I would compare it to the same feeling you’ll get the night before you move into your residence hall at Illinois. I sure felt that way before I moved into Weston back in the fall of 2014.
Illinois has so many students from diverse backgrounds pursuing diverse areas of study. Students eventually turn into alumni and go out there to change the world. However, what I’ve noticed about Illinois alumni that sets themselves apart from other universities is that Illinois alumni give back.
As a senior, I’ve been looking for full-time jobs and internships after graduation. We are lucky to have a worldwide network of Illinois alumni working in so many of the coolest companies in the country and the world. I am an advertising major, and I have been looking for jobs in the Chicago-area.
Since advertising is a business that prides itself on relationships and who you know, I realized that Illinois alumni can help me get a foot in the door for many advertising firms. So, I used LinkedIn, a social media networking tool for professionals to find Illinois alumni who studied advertising like me when they were my age. I did this because they would be more willing to give back if they see themselves in me and if they find that I have a similar background to them.
From my comprehensive LinkedIn search, I found an alumni named Kyle who was a 2011 advertising grad from Illinois! We actually had a lot in common. He was President of the American Advertising Federation at Illinois, which is the organization that I have been in charge of this year. I connected with him, and we spoke on the phone for an hour. He spoke fondly of his days here at Illinois and gave a lot of good advice to me as I enter the industry. Now, I am happy to have him as part of my huge Illini network in the ad world.
Kyle inspired me to be an alumni that gives back to students like me. We were all Illini once, and we will all be Illini forever. Lets look out for each other in the professional world, Illini!