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Alumni Networking Dinner

3:00 - 4:00 pm  - Alumni Panel

CPDO, CALC|UM and CSIE|UM are co-hosting an industry panel and an academic panel for alumni to talk about different careers, how they leverage the skills that they learned in grad school, and provide advice on how to get a job.  

4:00 - 5:30 pm  --  Speed interviewing session

Alumni will set up tables as company/university representatives and graduate students can approach alumni to deliver 3-5 minute “elevator-style” pitches. Importantly, alumni are not required to be in a formal recruiting role or have job offers.  As graduate students, we want to learn more about your company and value your opinion on whether we might be a good fit (and in what positions).  Alumni are encouraged to provide immediate feedback on the general pitch or as it relates to positions at their company.  There will be a time-limit (~ 10 min) and students will then move to a different company.

While somewhat similar to a career fair, the total number of graduate student participants will be capped.  Also, the immediate feedback and networking with alumni make every interaction valuable.  Combined, these factors will transform the chaos of career fairs to an enjoyable opportunity to meet and discuss career opportunities with current grad students.

The purpose of this session is two-fold.

  1. For companies/universities:  This session will be a good way to highlight the opportunities available at your company and can serve as a scouting session for potential new hires.  The rapid fire interviews provide exposure to a large number of candidates with limited time investment.  We envision this session to serve as a supplement to existing recruiting efforts, or as an easy entry point for companies that do not have a recruiting presence at Michigan.  Furthermore, company information will be advertised prior to the event to enable students to choose which booths that they are interested in. See below for a further explanation of the expectations and benefits to graduate students.


  1. For students: Clear and concise descriptions of our graduate research is a critical skill for graduate students, especially as they enter the job market.  Training sessions prior to this event will help us to craft this “elevator pitches”, but the putting these skills to use is critical.  Students are expected to have polished pitches; despite the opportunity for feedback, this is not just a practice session.

Additionally, the speed interview event builds upon the more general panels sessions.  Students can learn about companies/universities and specific positions that they might be qualified for.  Candid alumni input about position requirements or lessons learned on the job will help students identify what types of careers they should actively pursue.  The opportunity to present themselves as qualified candidates and network with individuals in the company could help position students for opportunities when an job opening becomes available.

5:30 - 8:00 pm  --  Networking dinner  – 4th Floor of the Rackham Building

Following the professional development events, the networking dinner is a time to relax.  The event will begin with a social hour from 5:30 - 6:30 pm followed by dinner.   Dinner and drinks will be complementary, courtesy of CPDO.  We are very excited to have alumni come back to share their advice and stories with us, and we hope that you will be able to attend!