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 2016, Fall Break 2018
Students will meet with alumni in the following fields: Consulting, Law, Media & Communications, Social Services

Denver – Spring Break 2016, Spring Break 2018
Students will meet with alumni in the following fields: Environment, Healthcare, Marketing, Research

New York – Fall Break 2015, Fall Break 2017
Students will meet with alumni in the following fields: Business, Journalism/Publishing, Performing Arts, Visual Arts

San Francisco – Interim Break 2017, Interim Break 2019
Students will meet with alumni in the following fields: Technology, Entrepreneurship, Innovation

Seattle – Interim Break 2016, Interim Break 2018
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 & Public Policy, International Organizations, NGOs & Nonprofits, Think Tanks

Application Information

Juniors and seniors who are interested in exploring a specific career field aligned with a Connections trip and have a strong desire to network within a particular are eligible to apply. To begin the application process for a Connections Program trip, students are required to attend a 20-minute information session with Kris Estenson (can be in groups of up to 5 students). Students can register for an information session in 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 for the Chicago Connection are due to Ole Career Central by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, September 8.
Application materials for the San Francisco Connection are due to Ole Career Central by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, October 22.
Application materials for the Washington, D.C. Connection are due to Ole Career Central by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, December 8.

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DC Connections Trip

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Preparing for Connections

Communication fundamentals
Writing professional emails
Up and running with LinkedIn
Building your professional network

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