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Turning Connections into Relationships
February Mixer: Selling Your Worth
Alumni Spotlight
West Professor Recognized
Career Event Follow-up

Volume 3  |  Issue 1

January 2013



With networking sites like LinkedIn® and Facebook®, it’s easier than ever to make business connections. Yet, when it comes to leveraging these connections into long-term relationships,
a systematic, off-line approach can still be the best strategy. The key is to reach out regularly, keep the conversation balanced and don’t be afraid to get a little personal.


Keep track

If you don’t have one already, you should put together a simple database of your connections. Besides basic information like name, company, title, address, phone number and email, you should keep a contact log which details when and how you connected with the person, what you talked about, etc. As your relationship grows, you should regularly update your database with details of conversations and other pertinent information. Keeping your database current is important. Once every six months, reach out to each person to find out if any of their contact information has changed.

Get personal

After making an initial contact, reach out to the person soon afterward. While communicating via email is easy, it can be impersonal, so don’t shy away from using the phone. Better yet, if it’s feasible and appropriate, try to arrange an in-person meeting over coffee or lunch.

Share the focus

A relationship rarely succeeds if it is too one-sided. So, while it may be tempting to talk a lot about your needs, accomplishments and goals, give equal time to the other person. Ask them questions and consider extending your questions beyond just business to find out a little about their hobbies, family and other interests. In addition to business-related information, keep track of some of this personal information in your database, so you can bring it up in future conversations. The person will appreciate that you remembered, which can go a long way toward solidifying your relationship with them.

Don't forget

As your needs change and career goals are met, it’s easy to let relationships go because they no longer seem necessary. However, you never know what the future will bring and if that relationship might once again become relevant. So, while you may contact a person less often, don’t let the communication stop completely, or it will be harder to rekindle the relationship down the road. Truly meaningful business relationships can, and often do, last a lifetime.



Sign up for our February mixer, and hear Western International University (West) faculty member Dr. Lillian Robinson — experienced Chief of Training & Development and current Civil Rights & Diversity Manager — talk about what it takes to make a good and lasting impression with the people you meet. You’ll also see West’s new, state-of-the-art Tempe campus!

DATE: Wednesday, February 20, 2013
TIME: 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. (MST)
VENUE: Western International University
1601 West Fountainhead Pkwy, Tempe, AZ 85282

PRESENTER: Lillian Robinson, PhD
Civil Rights & Diversity Manager, Southwest Zone of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and West Professor

REGISTER NOW: laura.lee@west.edu

After years of working on the people side of organizations, Lillian has discovered that being able to sell yourself effectively is a key asset for getting noticed and getting ahead.

On February 20, Lillian plans on helping each person become better at identifying and promoting their own personal selling points through examples and role playing. Come and learn how you can better sell your worth to the world.


What does it take to sell yourself?

You have to be able to explain, in detail, who you are, what you’ve done and what you bring to the table. So, if you’re interviewing for a job, you have to sell yourself to the point that you make the person want to hire you.

When we network, aren’t we already selling ourselves?

It depends. People may know you, but do they really know you? You have to put the important and pertinent information about yourself out there. If someone is going to hire you or speak up on your behalf, they need to know enough about you to feel good about advocating for you.

How did you learn about the importance of selling your self worth?

Part of my job is looking at every applicant for each position. I speak with managers and find out why they decided to hire one person over another. A lot of times, the person hired was a good advocate for themselves.

What do you plan on doing at the mixer on February 20?

I want to do some role playing to help people identify the key words about themselves that other people will find interesting. You may only have five minutes to make a lasting impression, so you want to be persuasive and have some key words thought out ahead of time. With the role playing, I hope to get that process started.

Dr. Lillian Robinson


Network Manager, U.S. Marshals Service
Arlington, Virginia

The U.S. Marshals Service is involved in virtually every federal law enforcement initiative, and an important behind-the-scenes person in this organization is Anthony Foreman, Network Manager and recent West graduate. Anthony is in charge of the Service’s nationwide computer network. It’s a lot of responsibility, but Anthony believes that his MS in Information Systems Engineering from West helped prepare him well for the job.


How does your West education help you in your current job at the U.S. Marshals Service?

Every day, I use the strategic, presentation and people skills that I learned at West. As a Network Manager, I have to provide training, do research, manage projects and make recommendations. My West degree covered all these areas. My degree was also a major factor in helping me get my job.

Why did you decide to get your MSISE from West?

I was familiar with the school, because my wife was enrolled at West studying to get her bachelor degree. However, I still took the time to look at other options, but ultimately ended up choosing West. They had the IT engineering curriculum that I was looking for, and I liked their emphasis on individual learning. I also liked that I could choose between going to classes on campus or attending classes online. I took almost all of my technology classes online.

What did you like best about West?

I loved the instructors. They are very personable, approachable and knowledgeable, especially in my field. They were up-to-date on all the latest technologies and strategies in my industry. I learned so much from them.

What plans do you have for the future?

I really want to stay involved with West and am very interested in becoming an online instructor. This will challenge me and also give me the opportunity to share my IT knowledge with students, just like my instructors shared their knowledge with me. I think I would definitely enjoy teaching.

You’re very involved in West alumni activities — why?

I like being surrounded by educated professionals. I also think it’s really important to stay connected with people. It’s how you find out what’s going on in the business world. Through networking, you develop professional relationships that can lead to different opportunities and valuable referrals.

Anthony Foreman


David Mitchell, a West faculty member since 2002, received a formal letter of recognition from Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett. Mitchell is co-founder of the Ideal Insurance Agency, a leading insurance agency in the West Valley. He was also the recipient of two prestigious industry awards in 2012.


In his letter to Mitchell, the Secretary of State wrote:

I wanted to congratulate you on being awarded the 2012 Committee Chair of the Year Award and the Charles W. Trauble Memorial Award. Your dedication to your profession is admirable. Small businesses such as yours are the backbone of the local economy. Your commitment shows in your work not only in your business, but with the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of Arizona (IIABA).

The Committee Chair of the Year Award was given to Mitchell in recognition of his efforts to foster membership growth of the IIABA. He was awarded the Charles W. Trauble Memorial Award for all he has done to maintain high standards of service and integrity for the insurance industry in Arizona, as well as the time and effort he has made to further the interest of the IIABA and its members.

At West, Mitchell has taught classes in small business, intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship, human resources, labor management, employment law, compensation, health and safety in the workplace and the bachelor program capstone course.

Congratulations Professor Mitchell!



Cathy McGinnis, certified Master Career Counselor, hosted an online webinar and led a lively discussion about rediscovering purpose and passion in your career. She talked about why we fall out of love with our jobs (the thrill is gone or things have changed) and looked at ways to rekindle the love (think about what you like about your job and why you took it in the first place).


Cathy explained that sometimes the love is gone just for now or it’s gone for good, and she gave advice on how to decide whether to stay in a job or move on. If the decision is to stay, Cathy encouraged people to take steps to:
• Make your work more satisfying
• Reduce your everyday stress
• Become your own best advocate
• Work with management to restructure your responsibilities to better
incorporate your strengths, talents and interests.

Throughout the webinar, West alumni and students shared their own experiences and words of advice. Thanks to all who participated.

heart-shaped paper clip box

Haven’t linked up with us yet on LinkedIn? Do it now, so you can instantly connect with over 600 West Community members. You’ll be able to share your profile, find valuable resources, learn about job or internship opportunities and much more.
Make the LinkedIn connection today.

MIX IT UP hands raised to volunteer
Being a volunteer at one of our West Alumni Connection mixers is a great way to meet new people and get more involved in the West Alumni Community. You can start by volunteering at our next mixer on February 20. See the details in the adjoining article and then
let us know if you want to volunteer.

You can also get involved in our community by volunteering to be a mentor to fellow West alumni or current students.

West One-on-One Career Coaching has been a big hit! A recently coached alumnus raved: “Traci was simply amazing. I thought that career coaching services were going to be a cookie-cutter-style resume development service, but Traci’s insight proved that this counseling was much more specific to my career goals. Thank you.”

To get started with your own career coach, go to the Fast Track Career Tools page on the alumni website.

West grads who return for a master degree can save 10% on West tuition for the duration of their master program!* Alumni who wish to reenroll at West can contact Chanel Tran at 602.492.1121 or chanel.tran@west.edu

Laura Lee
Alumni/Career Resources Manager
602-429-1110 or laura.lee@west.edu

Chanel Tran
Alumni Reenrollment Counselor
602-429-1121 or chanel.tran@west.edu

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For West alumni promotional offer, additional terms and conditions apply as specified by signed Memorandum of Understanding. Contact the Alumni Reenrollment Counselor for complete details.
Dependents of employees of Apollo Group and its subsidiaries who may qualify for Apollo Group tuition benefits are not eligible for this offer.

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