Connecting the Dots

On a blustery night in early February, more than 60 Logger alumni braved the weather—and the traffic—to be on campus for the 34th Annual Alumni Sharing Knowledge Night, known as “ASK Night.”

The event is an opportunity for alumni to mingle and chat with current students about possible career paths, internships, classes, grad school, volunteer opportunities, and myriad other experiences that help shape students’ college careers and future professional lives.

Grouped by industry and perched at bistro tables scattered throughout the Tahoma Room and numerous smaller rooms on the main floor of Thomas Hall, alumni participants awaited encounters with students from all classes and majors. They represented an broad mix of entrepreneurs, teachers, physicians, counselors, researchers, scientists, consultants, engineers, programmers, designers, and more. Encouraged to learn about the alumni attendees beforehand, many students came prepared with specific questions and intentions to seek out particular alumni in their areas of interest.

For alumni, ASK Night offers the chance to help fellow Loggers prepare for life beyond Puget Sound and is a way to give back to the college that costs little more than an evening’s time. For students, it’s a valuable lesson in networking and an invaluable advantage in planning for the future.

Here’s what some of the participants had to say about ASK Night 2020:

I remember how I naive I was about the world and how little I knew about career options. Every bit of advice and direction I did receive was so valuable and had such a huge impact on my life. It's nice to be able to give back, and to gain new perspectives and inspiration from current students."

– Hannah Aoyagi ’01

I felt as a student that I didn't know what the possibilities were, and now as an alumna, I can help show students what exists and provide some mentorship on how to get there."

– Cheyenne Dewey ’16

Experience is the most valuable tool that can be shared with students nearing graduation. It provides them relief from their already long list of stressors. I've attended many ASK Nights, beginning with the very first one. I try to make as many as my schedule allows."

– Norman Bellamy ’76 (pictured)

It's always rewarding to help students, whether answering questions or just being available to them and showing them that alumni do want to be involved and do want to help. Even the students who don't know what to ask or what they are interested in can get a sense of different career options."

– Meghann Edwards ’07

It was fun to connect with fellow alumni! I saw people from my class and met some other alumni. It was a truly intergenerational experience.

– Miriam Hathaway ’05

I enjoyed talking to the student who might even be a perfect fit for an internship at my new company. I like making connections and providing ideas that might never occur to someone."

– Hilary Wiek ’92

I just remember being really impressed with how thoughtful the students were. Each of them was prepared with specific questions and their own points of view."

– Caroline Henry ’12 (pictured)

 

 

By Sarah Stall
Photos by Sy Bean
Published Feb. 16, 2020