A key ingredient to strengthen your career opportunities is taking advantage of resources that can help you professionally network, especially your alma mater's! Meet Katie Linder, Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement, The Network at UC Santa Cruz, whose job it is to help other alumni get connected and start their career paths. Learn more and visit the official UC Santa Cruz Alumni website here.
1) What made you decide to begin your career at your alma mater (UC Santa Cruz) after graduating?
I decided to start my career at UC Santa Cruz because of the relationships I built while I was a student. It was a great first start because I never felt like I was reestablishing a network, but instead just kept expanding my original one. Plus, I get to spend every day at my college campus, and always have the newest Banana Slug pride gear.
2) In your role as the Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement, The Network, how are you able to support post-graduates with career and networking opportunities?
My job is really about creating a structure around and opportunities for alumni to connect with each other. The power of an alma matter lies within the thousands of people that are connected by a single institution. This connection comes with shared experiences, values, and passions that last a lifetime. Everytime that I find a way to connect alumni to each other or students to alumni, I am expanding the possibilities for the alumni community. More often than not, these opportunities, especially for young alumni, involve creating conversations around career and networking.
3) What is an awesome aspect of your job?
Without a doubt, working with volunteers! Our alumni program wouldn’t work without the advocates, mentors, event planners and more that support every area of our programming. Working with volunteers is always inspiring. Our volunteers show up to evening conference calls or events after full days of work, and show up early to set things up, leave late making other alums feel welcome. They do all of this because they care about UC Santa Cruz, and their passion keeps me inspired.
4) What are the benefits of using college alumni resources?
Where do I event start?! Specific benefits will look different depending on your alma matter’s programs, but I am sure that the benefits will span from campus perks to exclusive events to member discounts. I would say one of the most popular benefits is library access. My personal favorite benefits are the exclusive events. These types of events allow people to re-experience a taste of college whether it is listening to a featured lecture or meeting up for happy hour with other friends and alums in the area. There is always something for everyone!
5) What are some fun activities that you enjoy doing around Santa Cruz County?
While I live over the hill in San Jose, Santa Cruz has a special place in my heart. When I do spend weekends in Santa Cruz I have a short list of my favorite spots. There will always be a trip to Zachary’s. The trip will often entail a quick spin up to campus, especially if I am with other Banana Slugs. Anytime I am anywhere near downtown I’ll find myself book shopping at Logos. I have to take a walk along Westcliff. Then somehow on the way home I’ll always end up with a box of goodies from Kelly’s or The Buttery, and a bag of coffee from a local roasting company.
6) Where can we find you hanging out?
Depending on the weather, you can find me at home with my cat and a book, playing board games with friends, going on bike rides around the park, and hitting up any farmer’s market I can find.