February 19, 2020
By Rachael Blaine '21
Susquehanna University alumna Dawne Fritz ’86 Veet encouraged students to “give yourself permission to change and evolve” during her panel at Break Through.
Veet, along with four other alumni, hosted Failing Forward: When Plan ‘A’ Doesn’t Work Out. They focused on how they found post-graduate opportunities after failing at their first attempts after college.
After graduating from Susquehanna with a degree in business administration, Veet struggled to find work in her chosen field. Instead, she moved from movie theater jobs to jobs in the healthcare industry before finding her current job at a nuclear power plant.
“Failure is going to happen,” she said to attendees. “Be prepared for it.”
“It was reassuring to hear of others struggling,” said sociology major Jordan Sanderson ’20. Despite the panelists’ past uncertainty, “they still figured out enjoyable careers for themselves.”
Throughout the discussion, each of the panelists mentioned the importance of networking. “Everything is about relationships,” said Caitlin Newman ’09 Thistle.
Along with events such as Break Through, Susquehanna's Career Development Center (CDC) offers many opportunities for networking and job searching. After becoming unemployed, Thistle went to the CDC and was connected to alumni in her field.
“The alumni connections are what saved me,” she explained. Now she works in Washington D.C., for the U.S. Agency for International Development.
The CDC was an invaluable tool for more than just Thistle. “I spend more time talking to the CDC as an alum than I did as a student,” Viulka Arias Guzman ’15 said.
Katie Patschke ’15 also encouraged attendees to develop relationships early with both students and faculty. “They have connections too,” she said.
The university also has a new online alumni network, complete with a directory of alumni contact information.
About Break Through
Break Through helps Susquehanna students to network and develop contacts with alumni and other professionals in their chosen fields. Each year in February, alumni converge on campus for the student-alumni networking conference. Alumni offer career-specific panel discussions, money management advice, résumé tips, online branding and more. Break Through is organized by Susquehanna's Career Development Center.