Career Moves: Alumni networking helps new grad land job
Management major Caroline Legin ’13 discovered "an ideal starting point" in her career by talking with other Elon graduates already at work for one of the nation's premier consulting firms.
Caroline Legin ’13 worked for the Office of Admissions for much of her four years at Elon University and discovered a fascination with higher education and institutional management.
Now, the management major is making a name for herself at The Advisory Board Company in Washington, D.C., which provides services to higher education institutions as well as health care organizations. Landing the job was a process in which she learned just as much about herself as she did her new employer.
Legin is the first person to be featured this year in a series of E-net profiles on the successes of students and alumni who use the Student Professional Development Center to find job and internship openings, and to prepare for interviews and improve applications with guidance from staff.
She answered questions recently from the SPDC about her experience.
Tell me about the company and your role as an employee.
The Advisory Board Company is a global research, technology and consulting firm that partners with organizations across health care and higher education. Our company works with executives and their teams to elevate performance and solve pressing challenges. ABC provides strategic guidance, web-based software solutions, and insights. As for me, I work as a marketing associate in the research and insights department marketing specific products for physicians that in turn, my director sells and implements at the institutions.
How did your interest in position or profession develop?
I have worked the past four years in admissions and have been captivated by higher education and how institutions run. I was looking for consulting firms in the D.C. area and the Advisory Board kept coming into my feed. After seeing how far they have grown in the last 10 years and speaking with Elon alumni that work there, I was convinced this was an ideal starting point in my career. They have a strong emphasis on community impact and professional development, two qualities Elon instills in its students and I wanted an atmosphere where I could continue with these areas.
What have you learned from the experience?
I have learned that as difficult as it is to be open-minded when it comes to the job search, it is a must. Never in a million years did I think I would be working in the health care sector, but it happened and I learn new material every day. I am constantly challenged and given ample opportunity for growth and development within the firm. I also learned that alumni are some of your best resources regardless if you know them or not. Getting coffee with them before an interview can be one of the most helpful 30 minutes of your post-graduate career.
Who did you work with in Student Professional Development Center to prepare for your career, and what help did you receive?
I took the COE375 course with Peter Tulchinsky, which I believe opened my eyes to a lot of different aspects about the job search. I then worked closed with Jane Mehringer in the D.C. job search and career fields. She helped me figure out what paths would be best for my interests and gave me websites and alumni contacts I would never have known about without our meeting.
Knowing that the Student Professional Development Center’s services are available to alumni, do you plan on using career services in the future?
I absolutely plan on using many of the services in the SPDC specifically the mentor network. In my opinion, the best utilities are people, and this gives you access to hundreds of alumni who have once been in your shoes and are willing to give advice.
What recommendations would you share with other students about the Student Professional Development Center?
While you think the SPDC is something you should “look into next semester,” the time to go is now. Go set up a meeting with a career adviser and tell them your interests. The knowledge and networking advice they have for you is invaluable. Utilize the employer showcases and start the job search earlier rather than later.
Which faculty members did you work with to prepare for your career/employment and what help did you receive?
There were classes that aided me such as Advanced Organizational Behavior with Dr. Robert Moorman. This class, while only a management elective, should be for all LSB majors. It teaches you how to think, how others think, how to implement best practices in the work place, and all about leadership and structure. In today’s business culture these are vital subjects to comprehend.