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Students, Alumni Take Part in Inaugural SLU Connect Albany

Nineteen St. Lawrence University students had the opportunity to take part in the first SLU Connect Albany event during Mid-Semester Break, touring the state Capitol and meeting with successful St. Lawrence alumni in the capital region.

For Hannah Kingsley, a junior from Gouverneur, New York, it was her first time visiting Albany. “I’ve spent my whole life in New York, so it was so great to finally see our capital.”

As editor of The Laurentian Magazine, Hannah was extremely interested in visiting the Albany Times-Union newspaper and getting a chance to meet with its editor, Rex Smith, who is married to St. Lawrence Trustee Marion Roach Smith ’77.

“When I think of a newspaper, I think of a room with some reporters and editors,” she said. “But then you drive up to this big building, and you begin to see how many people it takes to run that operation, people in advertising, people working the press, people doing finances. It helped me understand that, while a company may look like they do just one thing, that doesn’t mean that they don’t need people with all kinds of different skills to work there.”

View a photo gallery from SLU Connect Albany

SLU Connect Albany builds off of the SLU Connect D.C. program. Launched in 2015, SLU Connect took students to Washington, D.C., to meet with alumni in government and various professions and take part in panel discussions, networking events, site visits and alumni-run workshops. The concept behind SLU Connect is that St. Lawrence students need exposure to alumni in high-powered professions in order to better prepare them to compete for internships, especially in places with well-known universities.

“Our students have to compete against Georgetown and George Washington students who are already down here,” said Trustee Jennifer Curley Reichert ’90 after the initial event in 2015. “So, we formalized a networking event between students and alumni, and that’s how SLU Connect-DC was born. We actually hope this is just the first city and that it expands to other markets where it makes sense.”

That expansion began with Albany, and St. Lawrence is already planning its third Connect event: SLU Connect Mountain States, which will take place in January 2017. The new program will give students the chance to network with alumni and parents and learn about career opportunities in the Mountain States.

Just one week after taking part in the Albany event, Hannah was anxious to catch up to Roach Smith, an author and writing coach, again at the St. Lawrence’s Board of Trustees dinner with juniors and seniors during their fall board meeting.

“What I got out of our trip to Albany is that alumni really like to meet and talk to students,” she said. “It was great to hear them talk about how (St. Lawrence) helped prepare them for their career, and they encouraged us to take classes outside our major to get exposed to more ideas. I got something out of every panel discussion we had.”

For more information about SLU Connect, visit Career Services.