By: Drew Danko
Business Council members got the opportunity to reconnect with BC alumni last Wednesday virtually at Wohlers Hall to learn about working in the real world. Professional Development members Peyton Curtin and Anton Kulikov arranged a Google Hangout live video chat with alums Cody Williams, Bobby Parratore, and Smaritha Ponnala.
Curtin organized the alumni event to allow BC members a glimpse into what working and living real world is like for former students. “We thought this would be a great opportunity for freshmen to see what all of these classes will mean one day and for upperclassmen to see what they can expect when they graduate,” Curtin said.
With so many Illinois and BC grads working in Chicago, they have great advice on where to live, how to stay busy, and how to manage living on your own financially. Curtin wanted to connect with these alumni to maintain connections that could help members in finding jobs at graduation. “It’s crucial to keep connections, it’s likely that you may be in the city or work for a company that has its headquarters in the city. Once you’re looking for a job upon graduation, you can call upon those contacts,” Curtin added.
Parratore, who graduated in spring 2015 with degrees in Business Process Management and Marketing, is currently working as an experience consultant at West Monroe Partners. After graduating, Parratore felt something he learned that he didn’t know during college was how to better manage time. Parratore was a member of Spring ‘13 and spends time with fellow BC alums on the weekends. “Time goes by much faster, putting off small tasks in your personal or work life for a couple days can quickly turn into weeks,” Parratore said.
Williams, who graduated in spring 2016 with degrees Supply Chain Management and IS/IT, is currently working in advisory practice as a business risk consultant at Deloitte. Since college, Williams has learned to take time on perfecting one project, rather than spreading himself too thin over numerous different projects. “I learned that you don’t have to say “Yes” to everything. Your boss would much rather have you do a great job on a few things than an average job on loads of things,” Williams said.
Williams encouraged graduating seniors to take time to travel before working. “Go travel before you start work. Before I started work, I traveled to Europe (London, Paris, Amsterdam, Stockholm) for 2 weeks. It was a great experience and a great talking point when I first met people too,” Williams added.
Ponnala, who graduated in spring 2016 with degrees in Business Process Management and Management, is currently working as a customer experience consultant at West Monroe Partners. Like her fellow alums, Ponnala agreed that the greatest thing BC provided her was friendships and relationships that will last a lifetime. “I’ve met some of the greatest people through this organization and have been lucky enough to call them my best friends,” Ponnala said.