Alumni offer perspectives on their college experiences

April 5, 2010 — by Lillian Chen and Girish Swaminath

A series of alumni speakers were invited to the school’s College and Career Center during their spring breaks recently to describe their college experiences.

The College and Career Center coordinator, Bonnie Sheikh, called the visits “a great opportunity for [students] to talk to alumni” and gain “a practical perspective.”

Sheikh brought in speakers by asking PTSO parents if they had older kids who would be willing to speak and also sending messages through the online program Naviance.

Sheikh felt it would help students to hear ideas from young people and not just their counselors.

“It’s really important to get an inside perspective, as well as the nuts and bolts of the college, since you would be able to better learn about the campus and living environment from a student,” said Sheikh.

The nine speakers took time off their spring breaks to present about their university during lunches. Alumni Katrin Cooper, a sophomore at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and Hayes Hyde, a sophomore at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., were among the alumni who shared their experiences.

“[The College and Career Center] might try [the speaker series] again during another break, maybe winter break,” said Sheikh. “There are always a lot of alumni that come back to visit their teachers.”

Sheikh said the turnout for these presentations was not as wide as she had hoped.

“I strongly encourage seniors who can’t decide which college to attend and juniors who need to start considering colleges to attend the alumni speaker series,” said Sheikh.

Junior Cassie Tran said she truly enjoyed the personalized attention offered in the presentations.

“I really liked the individual attention, since I had the chance to ask the speakers all the questions I had about college,” said Tran.

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