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Members of the Connecticut College Board of Trustees, President Katherine Bergeron, and student-athletes both past and present gathered at New York City’s Yale Club to participate in the first-ever Camel Athletics Club Career Networking Day.
The event, an idea of young alumni Kieran Morris ’15, Dana Albalancy ’14 and John Bullitt ’14, was created with the support of the Office of College Advancement, the Office of Career and Professional and Development, and the Department of Athletics to provide current student-athletes an opportunity to connect with members of the Camel Athletics Club alumni network. Morris, now a financial adviser at Morgan Stanley, sees this event not only as a way to bridge the gap between alumni and current students, but as an opportunity to reinvest in his alma mater.
“We as athletes have an obligation to give back to a place that has given so much to us,” said Morris, who also chaired the event.
Bergeron attended the event in support of connecting the College’s award-winning career program and nationally-recognized athletics program to advance the career outcomes of students following graduation.
“Bringing together our current students with Camel Athletics Club alumni offered a rich opportunity to explore how certain qualities of the scholar-athlete can be predictors of success in the professional world,” Bergeron said.
The day began with a speed networking session, which allowed students to understand the work alumni perform across a variety of fields, such as health, entrepreneurship, sports and entertainment, and finance.
Sonia Cawley ’93, a program director at IBM, discussed her company’s latest initiative, IBM Watson Health. While providing her perspective on how to leverage talent beyond a singular path, she emphasized the advantages of being part of a team, like she was when she played women’s lacrosse at Conn.
“The structure of a team is similar to a system,” Cawley explained. “Every individual component works in a system.”
Following a break for informal networking, Bergeron led a panel discussion with five distinguished Conn alumni: Trustee Debo Adegbile ’91, Trustee Seth Alvord ’93, Trustee David Barber ’88, Jonathan Krane ’90, and Sarah Pitt-DelCristo ’86. The panelists examined a variety of topics, from general career advice and lessons learned at Conn, to current topics and trends in their respective industries.
Men’s ice hockey goalie Bailey Aust ’20, said he was excited to meet Barber, co-owner of Blue Hill Farm. “I didn’t even know he was an alum,” Aust admitted, adding that he has admired Barber since watching him on the TV show, Chef’s Table.
Adegbile, who is vice chair of the College’s Board of Trustees and a partner at the New York office of law firm WilmerHale, said he was impressed by the different narratives from students and alumni on how they have translated their sacrifice on the field at Conn—which he called “The Glue”—into their lives beyond the field. “It’s a privilege to be invited, but also a privilege to speak alongside individuals who have these rich experiences to share.”
Throughout the day, the theme of “giving back” was emphasized by Andrew Margie ’96 and Caroline Moore ’15. During their round-table discussion, the pair underlined their commitment to being invested advocates and mentors in a way that allows students to relate to them.
“It’s valuable when a student can look at one of us and say ‘Oh, wow, that person is just like me,’” Margie elaborated.