I've decided. I'm applying. What do I do next?
Being mentored by alumni had an extremely positive impact on my career. Not only did they show me multiple viable career paths, they also afforded me opportunities to participate in research, gain consulting experience and even helped me secure my first internship, which led to future employment opportunities.
One of the best parts of my education at ODU was the opportunity to take what I learned and apply it while working with local companies and alumni. I stay connected with current ODU students to do my part to help their learning and to learn how the current generation is shaping our world of I/O.
As a practitioner, it is both useful and enjoyable to connect with current students and alumni. I’ve found that nurturing that network pays dividends in the form of a great list of people to call when I need help thinking about a problem. I've had the privilege of continuing to present at SIOP with ODU colleagues from classes before and after mine, and have enjoyed opportunities to visit campus and share my experiences to help current students reflect on their career options.
Our alumni network is passionate about making a difference to the new generation of I/O professionals. They whole-heartedly enjoy providing advice about career exploration, how to bridge the gap from graduate student life to professional life, and act as an invaluable source of knowledge and experience for students. Alumni regularly share job openings, offer paid consulting experiences to students, and volunteer to present applied and academia-oriented "brown bag" presentations that cover a mixture of I/O topics. Listed below are some of our most recent brown bag speakers:
- Alexis Fink, Intel Corporation
- Kristina Bauer, Illinois Institute of Technology
- Lisa Germano, IBM
- Annie Adams, Norfolk Southern Corporation
I have developed so many meaningful relationships with alumni in my short time as an I/O graduate student. Just this weekend I wanted to learn more about communicating the value of I/O research and practice to managers and employees, and I did not hesitate to reach out to two members of our alumni network who were happy to share their experiences with me. Knowing how much their support means to me, I cannot wait to 'pass it on' and be a mentor for future I/O students!
'What you know' is essential to professional development but, as that old saying says, 'who you know' matters too. When current I/O students need help charting the course of their studies or of their professional lives, the best advice often comes from people who have gone down their path before. Current students and faculty strive to maintain a strong connection with ODU alumni via social media (e.g., LinkedIn, Google Groups) and by organizing a get-together between at the annual SIOP conference with all ODU students, past and present.
These events provide a comfortable environment for students to network with I/O professionals who have been in their shoes and are eager to share their candid experiences. Every year, current I/O students return from this event glowing with valuable insight on potential career paths, internship and job opportunities, and perhaps most importantly, a mentor in the field of I/O.