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Robertson School hosts networking event for alumni and friends

Feb 25, 2020

Posted in: News

By Mario Sequeira Quesada, Communications Intern

Dr. Marcus Messner greeting members and alumni at Robertson School Networking Event
Dr. Marcus Messner, interim director of the Robertson School, greets members and alumni of the Robertson School.

Students, faculty members and alumni of the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture gathered for a lively evening at the Hardywood Park Craft Brewery on Feb. 20. The networking event offered around 50 members of the Robertson School community an opportunity to connect and develop new professional relationships.

The networking event is a new initiative of the Robertson School to help current and former students grow.  KaCey Jackson, development and alumni relations specialist in the College of Humanities and Sciences, thought the event would help build camaraderie for the Robertson School. Jackson said the event aligned with the idea of Interim Director Dr. Marcus Messner of encouraging students to connect with alumni.

Faculty, Adminstrators and Staff at Robertson School Alumni Networking Event
Robertson School members in attendance included professors, instructors, advisors and administrative staff.

“We look forward to hosting more events like this in the future," said Jackson. Messner added that "the goal was to build stronger connections between alumni and current student."

Strategic Advertising students Isabella Clouse, Bryan Nguyen and Isabel Suazo took advantage of the opportunity and engaged with a variety of professionals in different areas of communications. The three senior students attended together, looking to advance their job opportunities after graduation.

“The event was a great idea to get people together,” Clouse said. “It was a great way to get people talking and to start forming connections that will be important in the future.”

Robertson School faculty, advisors, staff and alumni engaging at networking event
Around 50 guests came to the networking event of the Robertson School at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery.

“Not every day you get to interact with alumni of the Robertson School,” Nguyen said. “It was a good experience and I think they should make it every semester.” 

Robertson School Board member Frazier Armstrong, a 1981 mass communications VCU graduate, thought the event was wonderful and hopes the school continues to do them. She believes the relationships between faculty, staff, and alumni are really important.

“These relationships build confidence, create a sense of trust and foster collaborations that lead to success for everyone involved,” Armstrong said. She added that, “it was inspiring for me to meet so many recent graduates who are out in the world with jobs they like and opportunities ahead for greater things!”

Alumni, who have found success in their fields, stopped by to visit and share tips with current students. Alumna Olivia Laughter reminisced about some of the learning and growth she experienced during her time at the Robertson School. Laughter graduated in 2017 with a major in advertising, and she is currently the associate art director of the Richmond marketing consultant firm EAB. She said she enjoyed the evening and valued the importance of the event and how the Robertson School helped her discover the keys of networking.

A banner of the Robertson School of Media and Culture and memorabilia
Guests at the networking event received swag from the Robertson School, including a coffee mug.

“The classes I took were definitely rigorous enough to prepare me for my job,” Laughter said. “My professors really encouraged me to go out there, network, never sell yourself short and build your own brand. And because of that, I was able to get a job,” she added.

"We look forward to having more events like this one in the future to give our alumni and students opportunities to get to know each other and to build connections for the future," said Messner.