Volume 1, Number 2 | NOVEMBER 2010
IN THIS ISSUE: SOCIAL MEDIA SEMINAR, ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT, MARKETPLACE, HOLIDAY NETWORKING, ALUMNI MIXER
QUICK LINKS
arrow Register as an Alumnus
Connect with your WIU community. WIU’s alumni website provides grads with access to great benefits, including an alumni directory, job board, library, career services, eNewsletter, and more! Register today

arrow Join us on Facebook
WIU’s Facebook page is a great place to broaden your circle of friends, connect with old friends, meet new people who share your interests, and stay up-to-date on what’s happening at your alma mater. Check it out

arrow Your Grad Wishes—
Granted
We’re making it easier than ever for alumni to continue their education. Enroll in any new WIU master degree program before December 22, 2011, start your first course by January 9, 2012, and you’ll get a $2,000 tuition credit for re-enrolling!

WIU master degree programs include Business, Information Systems Engineering, Public Administration, and more!

The $2,000 non-cash credit will be applied to your WIU student account toward tuition for your next consecutive graduate course, after successful completion of your first graduate course. If you do not successfully complete your first graduate course, you won’t be eligible for the tuition credit, and the offer will become null and void.

To find out more, call 866-484-1832 or email:
alumni.masters@west.edu

Be Social. Stay Connected.

The best way to network with your WIU alums? Join in the conversation with access to our new social networking community on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and You Tube. It’s a great way to get involved, connect with friends, network with fellow alums, and make your contribution to WIU’s online conversations, videos, and photos.

We’d love to hear what you’re up to, so log on and tell us, and tune in to everything WIU. Social media—it’s the next best thing to being there!

Everyone’s a-Twitter over our new Social Media Seminar.

Take part in an informative—and free—social media seminar designed to help enhance your career networking.

TIME: 5:00–6:00 pm (MST)
DATE: Wednesday, November 10, 2010
PLACE: WIU Phoenix Campus, Room 206, or join us online
PRESENTER: Dave Schneider, formerly of interactive agency, DDB Tribal
COST: Free

R.S.V.P. by Wednesday, November 8, 2010.

Online seminar access link will be provided upon registration.

Register now

Alumni Spotlight

Natalie Ivey, Organization Development Consultant / Principal,
Results Performance Consulting, Inc., Boca Raton, Florida

Natalie Ivey received her MBA with a concentration in management in November 2009. She says it expanded her knowledge of marketing, IT, and international business, which enabled her to think about her career more strategically. And because the degree provided a valuable credential, Natalie says it’s already opened doors for new career opportunities.

Natalie's full story >

How did your classes help you on the job?

My Entrepreneurship class was incredibly helpful, because I learned how to avoid mistakes other entrepreneurs have made. In reading case studies and doing class assignments, I strengthened my skills as a business owner. I also learned so much from my Corporate Power, Politics, and Negotiation class, particularly in learning more about how to “do the dance” of negotiation, as my professor so eloquently described it in class.

After having run a business for 8 years, I’ve learned that success comes from a lot of hard work—but more importantly, business development. Without sales—everything stops. In learning some fundamental principles of negotiation and how to create win-win situations, I’ve increased my skills in developing relationships and negotiating consulting projects.

How did you put your degree into practice after graduation?

My degree enhanced my knowledge beyond just management and leadership. It improved my professional credentials, prompted me to run my business with a larger-picture perspective, and it’s helped me to take more calculated, entrepreneurial risks. All of these have helped me to increase several of my key metrics, particularly profitability.

What are future career plans?

I plan to continue running my own HR development consulting practice and teaching leadership and employee development training programs. I enjoy teaching managers how to improve business performance by being better leaders and how to avoid stepping on legal landmines in failing to comply with employment laws. I love my work, and I’m currently working on two book proposals that I hope to get published in 2011.

Lena Stewart-Maynard, Accounting Manager,
Pay-Tech, Inc., Phoenix, Arizona

Lena Stewart-Maynard received her Bachelor of Arts degree in General Business in 2001. She says her WIU education played an invaluable role in helping her recognize her strengths, as well as the need for continuing education and professional and personal growth. Because WIU has had such a positive impact on her life, Lena feels led to support WIU alumni, as well as current and future students.

Lena's full story >

What was your favorite part of your education?

I enjoyed the fact that my classes were composed of adults like myself. They were serious about learning. The instructors all brought practical experience to the classroom, not just academic theory. The opportunity to network and build relationships with like-minded people was another bonus.

Why did you choose WIU?

WIU offered shorter class terms, which allowed me to focus on one subject at a time, versus traditional semesters.

What were the benefits of obtaining your degree?

Meeting course requirements and moving closer to my goal benefitted my self-esteem. Working full-time and completing my degree also served as a positive role model in motivating my own children, who are now in college.

How did your degree prepare you for the future?

I graduated at age 37, so I already had a good-paying job. But earning my degree enabled me to explore multiple options. I’ve landed in some great places and worked with some incredible people. Without the degree, it would have been impossible to enjoy such a breadth of experience.

What do you enjoy most about your career?

Accounting affords me the opportunity to meet a diverse pool of clients with diverse business models, which facilitates daily learning. I truly enjoy being able to use the knowledge I gained to teach the intricacies of accounting and sound business practices to the people I work with and others.

What are some of your accomplishments and achievements?

I was raised by a single mom and never dreamt of attaining a college degree as a youth. Receiving my degree was a dream come true, and I did it while being a full-time mother and holding down full-time employment. I developed a specialization in tax accounting thanks to the mentoring I received from great minds with prior Big 6 accounting experience. I’ve moved from being a staff accountant to now managing an incredible accounting department in a general accounting firm, where I now mentor associates on a daily basis.

Plug into Exclusive Savings on Electronic Equipment.

Looking to a buy a new laptop computer? Flat-screen TV? Or smart phone? You’ll enjoy powerful discounts on name-brand electronic equipment through our exclusive University Marketplace website. WIU passes on 100% of negotiated savings as a no-cost benefit to you, our valued alumni. To see what products and discounts are available: Click here.

Dos and Don’ts of Holiday Networking

An astounding 70% of U.S. jobs are never publicly advertised. The only way to find them is by meeting people who know people who know about those jobs. In short—by networking. Holiday parties are perfect venues for networking. The inherently social and relaxed atmosphere of a party facilitates making connections with people, sharing interests, and finding common ground.

Learn more >

HR professionals say networking and social networking are the best job search methods. As your social calendar fills this holiday season, it pays to take note of the following networking do’s and don’ts reported by www.cio.com:.

  1. DO arrive on time. Or even better, arrive a few minutes early, because if you do, chances are good that you’ll meet the event movers and shakers. Plus, you won’t have to worry about breaking into other people’s conversations. If you’re one of the first in the room, others will congregate around you.
  2. DON’T approach networking events as sales opportunities. Don’t try so hard to sell yourself. Instead, create likeability and commonality. Break the ice by asking people about their interests outside of work.
  3. DON’T start conversations by giving out your business card. This action suggests you’re only interested in selling a product or service. Wait until you’re asked to hand out a card or you feel a connection has been made.
  4. DON’T try to meet everyone at the event. Aim to make meaningful connections with, say, five people.
  5. DO make it easy for people to help you. If the topic of your employment situation comes up and you have the opportunity to talk about your job search, state specifically what kind of job you’re seeking, as well as the industry and any specific companies that interest you.
  6. DO focus your “elevator speech” on the future. Make sure your personal branding statement isn’t purely historical. It should state what you can do and how your experiences will move a prospective employer forward.
  7. DO remember you have something to offer. If you’re temporarily out of a job, it doesn’t mean you don’t have anything to offer. Keep attending events and meeting people, and you’ll be sure to land a job faster.

Take part in an informative—and free—social media seminar designed to help enhance your career networking.

August Alumni Mixer a Huge Success

WIU Alumnus Gene Sweeney, Terminal Manager, Estes Express Lines and WIU Career & Alumni Services Manager, Laura Lee, at the August Alumni Connection Celebration.
Enida Islamagic, Karen Riedmann and Eric Ferrer exchange business cards at the Alumni Connection Celebration.

Our August Alumni Connection Celebration at Bobby’s, a Mancuso Restaurant, scored an impressive turnout of WIU alumni. The event celebrated your new Career & Alumni Services department at WIU and provided a great venue for networking and socializing.