Southeastern Alumni Association hosts event for introverts
Thursday, September 19, 2019
by: Tonya Lowentritt
HAMMOND – The Southeastern Louisiana University Alumni Association recently hosted
an event to help timid individuals with networking. Titled “Networking for Introverts,”
the event was born from the association’s Networking and Professional Development
“We created a Networking and Professional Development Committee to address programming aimed at our students and younger graduates who have requested more career-focused events,” said Executive Director of Alumni Relations Michelle Biggs. “One of the ideas that came out of that committee was to host a ‘Networking for Introverts’ event to assist students and young alumni who may not feel comfortable in networking situations.”
The event was held as a pre Career Fair event, the annual university‑wide job fair hosted by the Office of Career Services each September.
Biggs said a guest speaker coached attendees on being prepared, communicating their value and following up. Then volunteers from the Alumni Association’s GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) Council role-played three networking scenarios to illustrate various networking tips in different situations, followed by real networking between the attendees and the volunteers.
“This event far exceeded our expectations. As with any new event, especially for students, we had our fingers crossed to have 20 in attendance,” Biggs said. “We had 64 people register and 41 who actually attended. And not only did they attend, but they were completely engaged, asking questions, interacting with the volunteers and taking notes. I am blown away by the response and the attendees’ level of engagement.”
The largest group of registrants were freshmen, which made up 34 percent of the guests registered, Biggs said, with seniors the next largest group, followed by young alumni.
“We found this encouraging that our newest students saw the value of working on their networking skills so early in their college careers,” she said. “We wanted to provide assistance to students who may need a little extra push to get out of their comfort zone. All of the attendees who completed the post-event survey provided positive feedback, indicating the event provided valuable, relevant information and was worth their investment of time. We are now eager to hear how the students incorporate these tools throughout their college experience and beyond.”
For more information, contact Biggs at 985-549-2150.