By Shirleyah Peakes
Honors Alumni Networking Night is a chance for current Youngstown State University Sokolov Honors College students to learn about alumni career paths starting at YSU, ask questions, and to network. A recent networking night included a panel of four honors alumni who were a part of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math: Dr. Chisaroka Echendu, Jimmy Tancabel, Brooke Schaefers and Julie Sole.
The panelists were asked a series of questions by a fellow honors student Shirleyah Peakes, who “enjoyed moderating the networking night and was fascinated by each of the panelist’s stories.” The networking night opened with introductions of each of the panelists sharing some background as to who they are. After introductions, each panelist went into detail about their career path stories, which all began at the YSU Honors College.
Echendu is an oncologist who began her career with research in chemistry, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, which led her into her career in oncology. Schaefers recently graduated and is now in a marine biology graduate program in Florida. Tancabe is working toward his doctorate in engineering. Sole found civil engineering to have many options as to what she could go into.
Each panelist described networking to be an important aspect of getting to where they are now and expressed that it has helped them greatly. Honors students who attended had the opportunity to ask the panelists questions.
One honors student asked, “Many of you talked about the positive experiences that led you to where you are at now. Were there any negative experiences/setbacks that affected your career path, and how did you handle that?”
The honors students were advised to take care of themselves, and not stress about every little thing. That you don’t have to be perfect or get every perfect grade, and that it is okay to not always get an A.
At the closing of the networking night the panelists gave some final words of advice to the honors students.
“Take it one step at a time, do what you need to do, and don’t put so much pressure on yourself,” Echendu said.
“Things are going to be okay,” Tancabe said.
“Put things into perspective: ‘What is really important to me?’” Sole said.
“Reality checks are so important. Ask ‘Why are you doing this? Who are you doing this for?’” Schaefers said.
The networking night was a success, full of words of encouragement and inspiration.