Groups of five to ten students met alumni in restaurants, hotel lobbies, at the doorway of homes and inside the Meyer Alumni Center. More than 80 students signed up to meet and network with local alumni. The discussions ranged from shared college experiences such as student organizations like fraternity/sorority life and community engagement to navigating life after graduation.
“The experience was so enlightening, To hear the stories and journey of another Bear made me think deeply about what I wanted to do with my career path!” Senior Jenny Tran said.
She attended Mark Francis’s Dinner with Eight Bears on marketing, job searching and helpful interview tips.
“I truly enjoyed meeting the students and having the opportunity to help mentor them in the transition from student to workforce. It was a great experience for me. I would recommend it to anyone that enjoys coaching and or teaching life experiences,” alumnus Mark Francis, ’85, said.
Dinner with Eight Bears
It’s a new program organized by the Alumni Association Board and Council. Dinner with Eight Bears are alumni-hosted dinners at scheduled times in the fall and spring semesters. After piloting the program in Springfield, we’re inviting all alumni to host a dinner in your area between October 11-25, 2018. As a host you get to decide:
- The time of your dinner.
- If you’re outside the Springfield area consider choosing a date during fall break, Oct. 11-14, or hosting while you’re in town for homecoming, Oct. 19-21.
- Where you’d like to host it. We can offer some ideas if you’re unsure where to go.
- The main topic or theme of the dinner conversation, i.e. business, affinity groups, college or degree majors.
- What you want on the menu, plus the cost of the meal.
- Number of students you want to attend.
Registration ends September 7, 2018.
Bears helping Bears
Jessica Harmison-Olson, ’11, graduated with a degree in finance, but wanted to focus her dinner topic on students staying in Springfield and looking for volunteer opportunities.
“Dinner with Eight Bears was such a wonderful experience. The students were eager to learn about Springfield, supporting young professionals and had insightful questions to ask.”
Many of the dinners filled up within a matter of days. Including, President Clif Smart and Gail’s co-hosted dinner for graduating seniors.
“One of my favorite events this year,” Smart said.
“I had a great Dinner with Eight Bears experience, and I have friends who participated in this program and also had a great time and were able to network and gain insight into their areas of interest. Thanks so much!” Graduating senior Kim Woodman said after attending the president’s dinner.
Senior finance major Chase Ulhorn attended alumnus Brent Dunn’s dinner at the Meyer Alumni Center. “It is great to see how the education you are working so hard for directly correlates with success. It’s proven to be of value.” He had one issue with the program. “Have it more often! It is a great thing.”
Not sure you’re ready to host? Get your questions answered by checking out the Dinner with Eight Bears FAQs page, or contact the Alumni Association at 417-836-5654 or by email, email@example.com.