OPINION | Skype series hits the mark

Students who want to expand their networks outside of Indianapolis into other regions of the country are in luck with a new innovative series.

Internship and Career Services has partnered with the Office of Alumni and Parent Programs to allow students to have informal Skype conversations with Butler University alumni in various cities.

The first discussion took place on Feb. 28 with alumni in the Windy City. As a Chicagoland native and someone who is looking to move into a larger city, I believe this program is exactly what students need.

Although students who interact with the ICS office should always seek to expand their networks and improve their interviewing skills, this new series will help support students more effectively answer the questions they usually find on their own.

The Skype series offers students an opportunity to learn the costs of living in other cities, understand the safest and most cost-friendly areas to live in the city and begin searching for jobs in the areas.

Students who have not had the opportunity to intern outside of Indianapolis should absolutely take advantage of this series.

Gary Beaulieu, director of ICS, said the idea came from his own experience in college.

Beaulieu said that he didn’t have a clue what it would take to move to Chicago and how much it would cost.

“I didn’t want students to have to go through that realization, that ‘I don’t know where to start’ feeling, which I went through,” Beaulieu said.

It is a great idea for the two offices to partner up and connect students with alumni in Chicago and other cities.

The concentration of alumni in cities like Chicago, New York and Washington D.C. may  want to give back to the university but most can’t travel to Butler.

This Skype series is a great opening for the students to learn and for the alumni to connect again with the university.

“We partnered with the alumni office to bring this to life,” Beaulieu said. “The alumni have a lot to offer our students. Why not let them talk with our students regularly?”

Senior J.J. Kells, a psychology and Spanish major, took part in the Chicago Skype session.

Originally from Park Ridge, Ill., Kells said she wants to move into Chicago to find a job in the film and photography field.

Kells said that the session was realistic because students usually have to look online and find answers to their questions about apartments and finding roommates.

The Skype session allowed students like Kells to have her questions answered.

“These sessions will open doors for students,” Kells said. “It allows students to realize there are opportunities outside of Indianapolis.”

April 4 is the second part in this series, and alumni from the Big Apple will be talking with students.

Senior Liz Stonehill, a marketing major who interned in New York City in the summers of 2010 and 2011 as well as the spring of 2011, said she is very excited about the Skype series with New York alumni.

Stonehill said she is also happy knowing Butler is furthering its aid to students who want to live outside of Indianapolis.

“More and more employers are recognizing Butler on résumés,” Stonehill said. “With a sea of people in New York looking for jobs, Butler students are standing out, and further support is valuable. It is great Butler and alumni are helping students find opportunities in other cities.”

Other potential cities for the Skype series include Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington D.C.