One might think it difficult to recruit an alumnus to take five or six strangers to dinner and to pay for it too.
Brett Bills said students who went to dinner with him as part of the Dine With Alumni program served up some good questions.
But when Alta Markeson, the executive development director, asks alumni to participate in the "Dine With Alumni" program, they are usually quite happy to help.
"Our alumni are so supportive of the students," she said. "Whenever I’ve asked them to help by participating in our Dine With Alumni program, they do."
Brett Bills graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and Scott Bills, his brother, graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science degree in finance. They now work as financial advisors for Merrill Lynch in Greenwood Village, Colorado. They often do business in Utah, so Alta asked them to participate in the program.
"We loved our time up here in Logan," Brett said. "Both of us had an excellent experience here. And since we’ve been back working here, we thought we should give back to the university a little bit."
Scott said programs like "Dine With Alumni" offer students a chance to network with professionals, and he said networking is important for students. Brett said it is important for students to talk with professionals in the workplace because often there are great insights students can gain that they wouldn’t get in the classroom.
Scott and Brett each took six students out to lunch this fall and said the students asked good questions, many of them about career-path choices they will be facing.
Students apply for the chance to participate in the "Dine With Alumni" program, and the program tries to match them with professionals who can offer them helpful vocational insight.