Alumni and students work for career readiness


Aakash Manandhar

Augustana Observer staff Feven Zewdu(Left) interviewing sophmore Abby Campis(right) by the Brew on Friday, April 8, 2022.

Feven Zewdu

According to the Augustana College website, 98 percent of the graduating class of 2019 either got a job within six months of graduating or went to graduate school. Some students keep in close contact with their alma mater. To ensure that these connections benefit the current students, Augustana College created Viking Connections, a program to keep successful alumni and students in contact. 

Augustana alumnus Evans Sammons, a member of the Office of Advancement, now works with Viking Connections. Sammons provides support for students as they try to navigate their career paths. Sammons said that Viking Connectors is a program that helps students navigate their future

“This is a program that connects students with alumni who are really well-established in their career fields, so these Viking connectors are available to talk to students about career paths, different classes they can take,” Sammons said. “They can help them find internships or jobs. They can review resumes, cover letters and help them prepare for interviews.” 

By keeping alumni engaged with campus activities through the alumni association board, composed of 30 alumni from all generations, Augustana gives its current and former students the opportunity to interact with one another, according to Sammons.  This board helps amplify the voices of students by allowing them to have a say in matters concerning the school. 

“These students help plan alumni events and really serve as the student voice on the alumni board when the alumni are considering programs that they’re going to do or fundraising initiatives that will help students,” Sammons said.

Haley DeGreve, Augustana alumna, graduated in the spring of 2020. Degreve now works for John Deere and continues The Gray Matters Collective, an organization she started while at Augustana. 

According to DeGreve, one of the important lessons she learned at Augustana was understanding how to overcome obstacles. 

“When I was at Augustana, I was trying to learn from others, looking at the people who are leaders in the community and trying to learn from them,” DeGreve said. “And also understand that I’m not perfect, I’m going to stumble, I’m going to fall, but the most important thing is to continue to get back up and continue to learn from those mistakes and continue to keep moving forward.” 

Not only does Augustana focus on alumni outreach, but they also place an emphasis on career readiness with CORE. CORE stands for career, opportunity, research and exploration. 

Sophomore Abby Campisi is a CORE ambassador and helps students understand the value of study abroad programs. 

“I helped a lot with making sure that everything for study abroad applications are perfect,” Campisi said. 

According to Campisi, Augustana provides a broad range of ways for students to connect with alumni to reach their career goals by supplying them with a variety of options to help them reach their potential through the Viking Connections program and CORE.  

DeGreve said that by attending Augustana, she was able to grow as a person, due to the lessons she was taught. 

“Everyone in a room has a different brain and a different experience than I do and to learn to really listen to what someone’s saying and not just listen to respond, but listen to understand and listen and then really gather your thoughts is so important.”