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Alumni Connect with Upper School Students During Second Annual Career Forum

7 February 2013 admin 4,259 views No Comment Email This Post Email This Post Print This Post Print This Post

250 clsrFriday, January 25 marked the second annual Upper School Alumni Career Forum, with 27 St. Margaret’s alumni returning to campus to impart their wisdom on the entire Upper School student body.

Alumni presented during two, 30-minute classroom sessions. They began each session talking about their path from St. Margaret’s through college and onto their current careers. Students were able to connect with alumni from a multitude of backgrounds. Tips and suggestions were offered to help students navigate their own paths after St. Margaret’s through college and into a career field. Each session ended with more than ten minutes of questions and answers.

“I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the Upper School Alumni Career Forum. I was impressed by the sophistication of the students, as they are much more aware of the world that they live in today then I was at their age. Mental health issues are complex, and I am amazed at how attune they all are about specific psychological studies, ranging from addiction and forensic studies to psychiatry specialties. I was also honored, as many of the students stayed after both sessions to share their own personal experiences with me,” said Jennifer Wolfe (Class of 1991), clinical manager, Therapeutic Behavioral Services.

Many students attended sessions in hopes of networking for a possible summer internship or finding a host for their Independent Senior Projects (ISP), while others tried to find a potential career field.

“The Alumni Association was thrilled to host the second annual Upper School Alumni Career Forum this year, with new alumni coming back to campus and additional sessions it was another ‘home run.’ As the Alumni Association looks ahead we hope to expand our involvement in the Upper School through hosting more ISP’s and possibly creating a mentoring program. Over the past couple of years we have been able to connect alumni for job opportunities, internships and professional assistance but it has been on a small scale, moving forward we would really like to expand on this in a way that is sustainable and further deepen our lifelong involvement in the school. We hope to continue to be a resource for not only alumni but current students and faculty, as well,” said Ian Tacquard (Class of 2002), manager, Alumni Relations and Special Events.

“The Upper School Alumni Career Forum was a unique opportunity for Upper School students to connect with St. Margaret’s alums from all fields. Students described the sessions as ‘helpful,’ ‘thoughtful,’ and ‘inspirational.’ It was a great chance for our students to form networks and contacts as all the alumni were generous with offers to support our current students. I was particularly pleased to hear all the alumni speakers remark, regardless of timing, connections or talent, that hard work still matters. Special thanks to our alumni for continuing to support St. Margaret’s,” said Upper School Principal Tony Jordan.

Some students were inspired to look at new colleges, new possible careers and look past college and know there is much more beyond.

“This experience allows the students to broaden their scope of career aspirations. It is an excellent opportunity for them to be exposed to a variety of career paths and freely participate in a Q&A, allowing them to continue to feel confident to explore new career concepts, as well as existing career goals. It is a pleasure to participate in such an exciting event,” said Brooke Ziccardi (Class of 1996), principal, Ziccardi Designs.

“We were incredibly pleased with the impact of this year’s Alumni Career Forum. Since its inception, only one year ago, it continues to be a unique opportunity to bring current students and successful alumni together to look toward the future,” said Dr. Todd Newman (Class of 1991), anesthesiologist and critical care physician at Hoag Hospital.

Below is a list of alumni speakers who attended the event:

Chris Allen (Class of 1989) – Manager of Global Learning & Development, Panasonic Avionics

Erin Newman Armstrong (Class of 1998) – Critical Care Nurse, Mission Hospital

Kurt Belcher (Class of 1997) – Owner and President, STAjets

Jennifer (Bourguignon) Blount (Class of 1987) – Lower School Assistant Principal, St. Margaret’s Episcopal School

Mike Brown (Class of 1991) – Senior Sales Consultant, St. Jude Medical Corporation

Eric Eng (Class of 2001) – Aerospace, Software Developer

John Glosser (Class of 1997) – Writer – Producer

Nicole Hughes (Class of 2005) – Owner, Nicole Marie Events and Showdown PR

Matthew Kasdan (Class of 1999) – Principal, Eclipse Strategies, LLC

Taylore McClurg (Class of 2002) – Engineering Systems Architect, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems

Dr. Todd Newman (Class of 1991) – Anesthesiologist & Critical Care Physician, Hoag Hospital

The Rev. Ryan D. Newman (Class of 1994) – Director of Operations and Chaplain, Campbell Hall

Dr. Shannon Hilgers Nissen (Class of 1993) – Orthodontist, Hilgers, Nissen & Clark

Justin Phan (Class of 2004) –Founder & CEO, PlayMyAd, Inc.

Lee Redmond (Class of 2005) – Commercial Real Estate Development and Finance Analyst, HFF, L.P.

Ryan Westendorf (Class of 1991) – President, Dragon Metals Trading Company

Jennifer Wolfe (Class of 1991) – Clinical Manager, Therapeutic Behavioral Services

Dr. Cory Yeh (Class of 1994) – Founder and Surgeon, Yeh Plastic Surgery

Brooke Ziccardi (Class of 1996) – Principal, Ziccardi Designs

Law Panel

Taylor Chase-Wagniere (Class of 2005) – JD Candidate, University of Southern California

Elaina N. Moore (Class of 2002) – Litigator for The Moore Law Group

Mark T. Risner (Class of 1986) – Owner, Law Office of Mark T. Risner

Spencer Scott (Class of 2005) – 2L Student, California Western School of Law and Officer Candidate, California Army National Guard

David Sire (Class of 1995) – Attorney, Law Offices of Edward C. Ip & Associates

Andrew Wood (Class of 2003) – Attorney at Law

MBA Panel

Novelle Shakeel (Class of 2006) – MBA Candidate at Pepperdine University

Rachael Stoddard Class of 2002) – MBA Candidate at University of Southern California

If you are an alumni of St. Margaret’s Episcopal School and are interested in speaking at next year’s Alumni Career Forum, please contact the Alumni Relations Office at 949.661.0108, ext. 247.


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