Alumni Advice for New Graduates

As the Class of 2015 prepares for commencement—or in the case of the College of Law, celebrates graduating last month—alumni from each of DePaul’s 10 colleges and schools offer career and life advice. We look forward to welcoming the Class of 2015 to the alumni family!

Jackie Campbell“Be nice. When you’re nice, people are more eager to help you. Whether you’re trying to secure a dinner reservation or land a new job, being nice is more effective than the alternative. (Disclaimer: Being nice does not mean becoming a pushover!)”

–Jackie Campbell (CMN ’04)
Director of partnership marketing, Big Machine Label Group
Photo credit: Laurie Kapugi


Katherine Kim_2“Be realistic about your weaknesses. I think the most successful people are the ones who understand their own weaknesses. Don’t try to do it all yourself. People think they can do everything, but that’s inefficient. You can do so much more if you partner with someone who complements you.”

–Katherine Kim (CSH MS ’97, JD ’04)
Founder and principal, Spark IP Law

 Jason Pecho_2

“Make connections. Go to industry events and meet new people. Go to meet-ups. Follow people on Twitter and start conversations with them. If you make an impression, when the time comes for them to recommend or hire someone, hopefully you’ll be on their short list.”

–Jason Pecho (CDM ’08, MS ’10)
Engineer, Industrial Toys
Photo credit: Gina Cella

 Nkosi Bradley

“’The plan’ might not exist, and that’s okay. Plan and prepare, but cultivate that tiny voice in your head that reminds you that there is likely something unforeseen and much more interesting than what you had in mind.”

–Nkosi Bradley (LAS ’96)
Director of government affairs, District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency

 John Alfonzo

“Build relationships with mentors. A mentor provides you with guidance throughout your professional career—but remember, a mentor is not a contact who is responsible for getting you a job.”

–John Alfonzo (SNL ’06)
Programming research manager, Telemundo Chicago

 Tanya Foster-DeMers_2

“Let your work address unmet needs. Find a need that exists in the field and allow your education to be the answer to that gap.”

–Tanya Foster-DeMers (EDU ’94, EdD ’12)
President, TAF Educational LLC

 Jennifer Cassell

“Give back. I don’t think that having success of your own means much unless you can help other people. That’s a way to leave your mark on the world.”

–Jennifer Cassell (JD ’08)
Assistant regional counsel, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Photo credit: Tom Vangel

 Joe Adams

“Stay relevant. Learn something new every day, and impart your knowledge to and coach others.”

–Joe Adams (BUS ’77, MBA ’79)
Managing partner and CEO, McGladrey LLP

 JG_Book Cover

“Audition for every single thing that you possibly [can] in the beginning. I’ve heard a lot of actors say, ‘Well, I don’t want to play cops,’ or, ‘I just want to do dramas.’ I found that for me, auditioning for everything I could helped me become a good auditioner, and you have to be a good auditioner if you want to be an actor.”

–Judy Greer (THE ’97)


Suzanna Nance in the WFMT studio.

“Keep in touch with your professors. I know that if I needed something, I could call any one of my professors, and they would all help. They’d do that for any student—that’s good teaching, and that’s a good university.”

–Suzanne Nance (MM ’05)
Singer, radio host and producer, WFMT

What is your best piece of advice for new graduates? Share your thoughts in the comment box below!

Read about one graduating student’s top five DePaul moments. >> 

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