A few months ago, I was approached by a UofT Alumni who became interested in new ways to meet students. After emailing back and forth for a few months, we decided to begin planning on a Panel. Since he was an Alumni, I thought that perhaps bringing in other alumni from UofT’s CS department would be a great idea, and a unique way of seeing what type of jobs and professions UofT students end up with in the future.
After much deliberation, the Alumni Wars Panel was created. I managed to get in touch with four alumni in different fields of CS; Consulting, Startups, Firms and someone who departed CS and is now a Lawyer. They were all enthusiastic throughout the panel, responding to questions with different opinions and we held a great panel overall.
I moderated the panel, which made me a little nervous at first. I was dreadfully worried that students wouldn’t show up to the panel, or that they wouldn’t be interested in asking any questions. As the moderator, I began the panel giving each panelist a chance to introduce themselves, and then asked two semi-generic questions, before asking the audience if they had any questions they’d like to ask. Luckily, someone did! It’s always hardest getting the first person to open up the floor to questions, however once they do start, other people start following, and we actually ran overtime.
The panelists were great sports about this and were happy to stay and answer questions for a little longer. We had a meet-and-greet section after the panel where students who had follow up questions came to ask individual panelists, and even drop off their resumes.
I’m super happy that the panel ran, and am definitely open to running another one in coming semesters. I think the idea of having it set up as an “Alumni Wars” with different topics each semester could be a great way to get Alumni and students to really connect. Can’t wait to start planning the next one!
Luckily (or unluckily) the Game Design Contest was pushed up another week. This means I still have another week to keep working on it, and that also means another week before I will release the game - but fear not! The game is happening!