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MCN holds first alumni/student mix and mentor event in Naperville

Nursing students by bus

MCN students going to Naperville to network with alumni

Nursing students gathered April 10 at the Alumni Center looking very professional, as if they were getting ready for a job interview. As they were waiting for everyone to arrive, they chatted about their resumes and where they were going to apply for jobs.

A few months before, they had been invited to attend the first alumni/student event in Naperville to network with Mennonite College of Nursing (MCN) alumni about job opportunities, their employment experiences, and tips for getting jobs in the area. The students boarded a shuttle bus, and Doris Groves ’81, executive director of Alumni Engagement, also road up with the students. Alumni Relations and Star Uniforms sponsored the transportation for this event, while Advocate Health Care sponsored the location and catering.

Meanwhile, Jenny Ward, director of Development, traveled to Naperville with some local alums to set up with the help of Chicagoland resident alumni at Maggiano’s Little Italy restaurant. They were expecting around 20 alumni from the Chicago area to attend and mentor the students about finding jobs.


John Howlett, HR representative from Advocate Health Care

John Howlett, human resources representative from Advocate Health Care

As the students and alumni arrived, they immediately started connecting and getting to know each other. The alums ranged from the Class of 1954 to the Class of 2013, and many in between. They worked at several Advocate Hospitals (Christ and Lutheran General), as well as at Rush, Northwestern-Lurie Hospital, Edwards Hospital, Northwestern Community, St. Joseph’s Presence, OSF Healthcare, schools, outpatient centers, and long-term care facilities.

John Howlett, a human resources representative at Advocate Health Care Systems, was available to answer questions from students about applying and interviewing with Advocate.

“This was our inaugural event to bring students to the Chicago area to network with alumni,” MCN Dean Janet Krejci said. “We could not have done this without the incredible support from Advocate Health Care, Star Uniforms, and Alumni Relations. We plan to continue hosting student and alumni networking events in the future.”

As the event came to a close, the students were still talking with the alums, and contact information was exchanged. “Seeing our students and alumni connecting was so rewarding,” Ward said. “The variety of nursing professionals that attended this event demonstrated to the students the progression of a career, and how a nurse can transition through many settings over the course of a lifetime. The alums expressed passion for the field of nursing, and their nursing education.”

More pictures from this event can be seen on the MCN Flickr account.