Connections Program

The Connections Program brings students into alumni workplaces to explore careers and broaden their perspective on what they can do with a liberal arts education. The program aims to connect students with St. Olaf’s vast network of alumni nationwide, specifically in metropolitan areas, giving them a firsthand look at how Oles are succeeding in all sorts of endeavors. The trips are decided based on industries in particular cities with a critical mass of alumni to expose students to urban environments. Students are able to get specialized career advice by dividing into smaller groups and meeting with alumni from specific interest areas. The program reinforces the value of the alumni network to help discern their vocation and navigate the path from college to career.

Upcoming Programs

Chicago – Fall Break 2014, Spring Break 2016
Students will meet with alumni in the following fields: Consulting, Law, Media & Communications, Community Development

Denver – Fall Break 2016
Students will meet with alumni in the following fields: Environment, Healthcare, Marketing, Research

New York – Fall Break 2015
Students will meet with alumni in the following fields: Business, Journalism/Publishing, Performing Arts, Visual Arts

San Francisco – Interim Break 2015, Interim Break 2017
Students will meet with alumni in the following fields: Technology, Entrepreneurship, Bio Medical, Clean Energy/Renewables

Seattle – Interim Break 2016
Students will meet with alumni in the following fields: Aerospace/Engineering, Computer Software, Higher Education, Philanthropy

Washington, DC – Spring Break 2015, Spring Break 2017
Students will meet with alumni in the following fields: Government, Non Profit, International

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DC Connections Trip

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Application Information

To begin the application process for the Denver Connections Program, students are required to attend a 30-minute information session with Kris Estenson in TOH 270 in groups of up to 5 students. Students can register for an information session on Ole Career Central by selecting “Request a Coaching Appointment”, choosing “Employer/Alum Communication”, and choosing Kris Estenson before submitting your request. During the appointment, students will receive more detailed information about the application process.

Application materials are due to Ole Career Central by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, February 17.

Selection Criteria

In order to participate in the Connections Program, students must:

  • Be a Junior or Senior
  • Have an interest in exploring the specific career industries of the Connections Program
  • Have a strong desire to network with alumni in the particular city
  • Have a positive attitude and outlook

Memorandum of Understanding

If selected to participate in the Connections Program, students agree to:

1. Pay $200 towards the total cost of the program.

2. Attend all required orientation and follow-up sessions facilitated by Piper Center staff.

  • 5:30-6:30pm, Monday, November 25
  • 5:30-6:30pm, Thursday, January 16
  • 11:30am-12:30pm, Thursday, February 13

3. Participate fully in all scheduled events and programs, according to the itinerary provided.
4. Conduct myself in a professional manner as a representative of St. Olaf College.
5. Assume full responsibility for any undisclosed physical or emotional problems that might impair my ability to complete the experience, and release St. Olaf College from any liability for injury to myself or damage to or loss of my possessions.

Student Feedback

“This trip taught me so much more than I ever imagined. I made connections with people I can talk to about working in the New York City area. I also feel more comfortable about moving there knowing that I have a supportive network of people.”

“Not only did the program give me knowledge about career paths I was exploring, it also showed me new fields where my skills could be utilized.”

“I learned a lot about myself and met a group of current students who are interested in working in similar fields.”

“The trip was very motivational, inspirational, and reassuring.”

Contact Information

Kris Estenson
Associate Director, Alumni Engagement
The Piper Center – Tomson Hall 270
(507) 786-3625
estensok@stolaf.edu