Happy New Year!  I hope 2016 is already off to a great start!

My name is Matt Kelly: a 2008 College alumus, current evening MBA student, and new guru of all things Hoya Gateway.  That’s me there…

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Gotta love the MSB headshots!

It’s a brand new year, and Hoya Gateway is ready with some resolutions!  Now personally, I’ve never been a big fan of resolutions.  I’m really not one to wait to make changes and I think I do a pretty good job on reflecting on what I want to change in the first place.  That being said, as I’m new to Hoya Gateway, this New Year gave me the opportunity to look at what I could change with our program.  So…here goes.

1) Create a 2nd Shared Experience

I have been involved with Georgetown alumni for quite literally my whole life since my parents are alumni.  When I think back on the conversations I’ve witnessed or taken part in with alumni, there is only one Georgetown experience  I can think of that every alum shares (other than graduation, of course).  That experience is an alumni interview as part of the application process.  I can still remember mine…

(If this were a movie/TV show, they’d have that wavy “looking into the past” effect right now)

My alum was a teacher at a somewhat-rival high school.  I wore a jacket and tie and was worried that the rival students would vandalize my car because it had my high school logo sticker on the back.  The interview was in the alum’s classroom and he could not have been nicer.  He had on a white shirt with a blue-green tie and khaki pants, classic high school teacher attire.  The interview was more of a pleasant conversation, not the intense interrogation I expected.  I left feeling great about going to Georgetown.

(Wavy effect again back to the present day)

Most students, but not all, take Problem of God.  Most students, but not all, go to basketball games.  Most students, but not all, frequent Tombs.  ALL students had to have an alumni interview to come to Georgetown.  I think there should be a 2nd alumni conversation that’s a shared experience.  What if every Georgetown student has at least one meaningful, productive conversation with an alum during their time as a student on the Hilltop?  Hoya Gateway is how we can make that happen!

2)            Not just About Careers

The Georgetown alumni network is fantastic for job networking.  I don’t think anyone is going to argue against that.  But for freshman and sophomores, career networking might not be exactly what they’re looking for.  Sure career is on their minds and maybe some have even visited the Cawley Career Education Center, but they have other big things to worry about first.  “What major should I pick?”  “Who are the professors I should take?”  “Why is Chicken Finger Thursday such a thing?”

Well, alumni have the answers there too!  The one thing we all love to do is reminisce.  We could talk about professors we loved, clubs we joined, majors we think made us successful, and experiences we had all day if someone just asked us!  Alumni can help students at every stage of their Georgetown careers…all you have to do is ask.  You can find those helpful volunteers through Hoya Gateway!

3)            Giving Students the X’s and O’s

Networking shouldn’t be a scary thing.  Yet for many students, it very much is.  Whether it’s because of the power dynamic in a conversation, not knowing what questions to ask, or just a general discomfort with talking about the future; we want to understand why it’s difficult for students and create ways to make it less so.  The Hoya Gateway system is unique in its compatibility matching, but we recognize that it is a tool that’s only as good as how it’s used by students.  This year, we want to work with our campus partners to educate students on just how to go about networking and prove to them that Hoya Gateway is a great tool to help start that network.

Happy New Year and see you all in 2016!