College of Applied Science and Technology held the inaugural edition of CAST Connections, a networking event aimed at connecting students with alumni. Over 90 students traveled to Chicago to meet with alums. The event started with CAST Dean Todd McLoda appreciating the alums and addressing the students about the importance of networking.

Candra Jefferson, an environmental health alum, was present at the event and expressed her excitement about CAST Connections. “This is a great opportunity for alumni to share their professional experiences with students looking to start their careers soon,” she said. Jefferson spoke to the students about maximizing their potentials for a successful career and managing communication with stakeholders in the workplace. She encouraged students to be open to change as projects may be executed differently in the workplace than in most classroom settings.

One of the students that attended CAST Connections, Zainab Durojaiye, a criminal justice sciences (CJS) major, expressed excitement about being chosen as part of something novel. “When I heard it was a networking opportunity with CJS alumni, I was even more excited to be able to speak with people who have been in my shoes,” Durojaiye said. “I knew that I would be able to get questions answered about the different fields in CJS and also become open-minded to other careers in this field, considering that I am so focused on being a part of the FBI,” she said.

While sharing some of the insights that she gained at the event, she said, “I loved the group discussion that we had with our alum Keith Kambic. Being able to give input on the new security system that he is putting together for the Wills Tower was great.”

The students had the opportunity to interact with various alums and participate in critical projects and received feedback about their responses. Durojaiye said, “After hearing CJS alum Leah Walton’s story about how she became a federal probation officer, I promised myself to never pass up an opportunity, no matter what it is! Overall, this was a great event to have been a part of.”

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