Written by Carolyn Fairbanks. Media by Kat Kelley.
Greenville juniors and seniors had the opportunity to hear from Greenville Alumni about what to expect after college. The dinner and question and answer session Tuesday night was sponsored and paid for by Greenville College Alumni. Walter Fenton explains “things change so fast and so dramatically after college—practically the day after you graduate—that GC alumni thought we should produce an event like this for you.”
The event began with dinner hosted by Sodexo. Guests were served pork sliders with nachos, vegetables, a cupcake bar, and punch. After dinner, Walter Fenton introduced the alumni panel for the night. Alumni included Jake Amundson Class of ’03, Scott Humphreys class of ’09, Paul Reese class of ’08, Luke Rice class of ’10, Lydia Rice class of ’10, and Stacey Ritter class of ’02. The panel had representation of jobs ranging from a professor to a stay at home mom to an AT&T app director.
The discussion began with lighthearted confessions of pranks pulled while at Greenville College. Luke Rice described one of the best pranks. He and a fellow classmate sent an e-mail out to the entire student body announcing a new president (which was not named at the time) and said that his first act was cancelling COR 401. This left a campus in chaos as everybody tried to change their schedule. You should also ask Professor Jake Amundson about Jell-O, but make sure you aren’t eating at the time.
The night got a little more serious when the alumni started talking about their experiences right out of college. Stacy Ritter said life after college was a hard adjustment. She explained that she wasn’t able to get her perfect job like she planned. “Its okay if your path doesn’t go in the way you want,” she learned, “it goes in different directions.” Paul Reese, who won $42,600 on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”, revealed that his biggest adjustment after college was not having a community around him. They encouraged students to find a church or connect with other alumni in the area they end up living in. Amundson explained, “Alums are good at reaching back.” This has been clear through the money they’ve donated to the Almost Alumni programs.
The night was filled with great advice, encouragement, and a taste of reality for students. “Find what you love to do,” Amundson reassured, “and find someone dumb enough to pay you.” Finding someone seems to be the hard part from the experiences of the panel, but they do not say it to discourage students. They want students to be flexible in their paths because they found out that life can take you down crazy roads you are not expecting. While that can be scary, it doesn’t mean it is a bad thing. Maybe it will be even better than your plans.