The Mutuality of Internship

One of the two presentations led by Fishbowl Solutions reps on April 5 (from left: Jake Ferm, Carmen Williams, Noah Bodner, and Amy Bowar Mellinger).
One of the two presentations led by Fishbowl Solutions reps on April 5 (from left: Jake Ferm, Carmen Williams, Noah Bodner, and Amy Bowar Mellinger).

Student questions following presentations by reps from Fishbowl Solutions yielded some interesting conversation in Professor Larry Crockett’s computer science class, April 5. For example, “As a software consultant, how often do you feel the need to go online to find answers to your own software challenges?”

The answer from Fishbowl’s Jake Ferm ’12 may have been somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but then again, maybe not: “Every ten minutes.”

Fishbowl Solutions, a Twin Cities-based software company, creates packaged software and develops custom technology solutions using the latest Oracle, Google, Mindbreeze, and PTC technologies. The company of 40+ employees, founded in 1999, has offices in both the U.S. and the U.K., and serves an international clientele.

The Fishbowl reps, invited to visit two sections of Crockett’s CSC/PHI 385 class (Formal Logic and Theory of Computation), included Noah Bodner (Recruiting), and three Auggies: Amy Bowar Mellinger ’97 (Fishbowl’s Director of Services), Jake Ferm ’12 (Software Consultant), and Carmen (Crockett) Williams MBA ’12 (Account Executive, Sales).

After the Fishbowl guests described the nature of their company and work, as well as their take on various current trends in technology, students raised numerous questions. The resulting interaction provided good advice on many issues, such as these comments on interviewing from Williams: (1) Prepare wisely for an interview (always plan on a glitch; arrive ten minutes early); (2) Think ahead about what questions to ask the interviewer (remember, you’re interviewing the company as much as they’re interviewing you); and (3) Ask what further education and training the prospective employer is willing to provide.

A photo of (from left) Jake Ferm, Larry Crockett, Carmen Williams, Amy Bowar Mellinger
(from left) Jake Ferm, Larry Crockett, Carmen Williams, Amy Bowar Mellinger

Mellinger stressed the importance of keeping an open mind when deciding on an employer, giving attention to the importance of matching one’s work-style with the anticipated projects. For example, she recalled working on one seven-year project at an earlier job, which, she said, may not have been as appealing to someone who enjoys working on a variety of projects or technologies.

Fishbowl reps emphasized how valuable a liberal arts education is in their work, since the broad scope of the classes they took continues to provide flexibility and greater opportunity in their work, and in the marketplace in general.

The Fishbowl visit to Augsburg was an excellent opportunity for students who are eagerly seeking internships or employment to connect with a company that is just as eager to find talented interns and employees. As Bodner explained, given the current Twin Cities unemployment rate in the area of computer science (less than 1%), students are in a strong position to find several appealing opportunities, and their thoughtful preparation for interviews can make an offer much more likely. A look at the website for Fishbowl Solutions says, “We’re looking for innovators with a passion for technology and learning to fill a variety of technical and non-technical roles.”

Mellinger, who worked for many years as a consultant prior to taking on her leadership role at Fishbowl Solutions, was surprised to discover recently that her colleague at Fishbowl, Williams, is the daughter of Crockett, who had taught two of her classes at Augsburg.

Larry Crockett with former student Amy Bowar Mellinger
Larry Crockett with former student Amy Bowar Mellinger

In the April 5 forum, about 50 students had a chance to interact with former students to compare and contrast pre-graduation education with in-field work experience, and to consider how one’s education must continue in the workplace. Ferm stressed that, especially as a software consultant, he is learning new things daily—online and in person—as he encounters new challenges that push him to continue educating himself. And when new interns come on board, they learn from the staff’s collective experience, and staff pick up new things from the interns. Nothing like a win-win situation!

The April 5 event was also an opportunity for three Auggie alums to take in the new Hagfors CSBR facility; they left deeply impressed.

—by Cheryl Crockett ’89

Auggie Alumnus Named to Florida High Tech Corridor’s 2018 “Faces of Technology”

Amanda Stramer ’12

Amanda Stramer ‘12 was named recently to the Florida High Tech Corridor’s 2018 “Faces of Technology,” which represents more than 252,000 scientists and technologists. Stramer earned this distinction through her innovative work in the development and commercialization of cancer immunotherapies.

For three years, Stramer has worked at Iovance Biotherapeutics in Tampa, FL. Currently a process development associate scientist, she works to develop immuno-oncology therapies, called tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), to fight aggressive cancers.

Stramer says she chose to study at Augsburg because it was the most diverse private school in Minnesota*, and was small enough to provide for enhanced learning that can result from significant relationships with professors and classmates alike. Stramer graduated with a BS in Biology and Philosophy and was a lead volunteer at the Campus Kitchen. She has found that she can thrive in a small and intimate work environment, such as the one at Iovance Biotherapeutics, thanks to the study habits she developed at Augsburg.

Within a week of graduating from Augsburg, Stramer was offered a job. She immediately moved to Florida, where she started her career as a microbiologist at a small biotech company in Sarasota.

When asked if she could offer any advice to current Auggies, Stramer said, “Although there is always talk about academic careers following STEM programs, the science industry is so huge and versatile; Auggies should never fear to branch out.”

Stramer is a fantastic example of an Auggie making a difference, and Augsburg can take pride in its diverse alumni base, which includes a wide range of professions and accolades.

Do you know a great Auggie who should be in the spotlight? Let us know by emailing alumni@augsburg.edu.

 

*Augsburg University was the most diverse private school in Minnesota at the time of Stramer’s application.

Auggie Networking Experience is February 8

Banner includes photo of people chatting at networking event in the chapel and photo of a crowd from above. Text reads "Auggie Networking Experience: Using Yes to Connect"

Alumni from all professions and stages of their careers are invited to campus to meet with students and fellow graduates to build their Auggie network. Featured alumna Jenni Lilledahl ’87, co-owner of the Brave New Workshop, will offer strategies to help you jump-start meaningful conversations and say “yes”.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2017

Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center (map)
Augsburg College, Minneapolis

 Students arrive: 5:30 p.m.
Alumni arrive: 6 p.m.
Event concludes: 7:30 p.m.

Bring your business cards and be prepared to grow your Auggie network!

Free Professional Head Shots ~ Food & Beverage Provided

Student registration

Alumni & Faculty Register Here

Students with questions, contact Sandy Tilton at the Strommen Career Center: 612-330-1148 or tilton@augsburg.edu.

Alumni with questions, contact Katie Radford ’12 at the Alumni Office: 612-330-1329

MBA Alumni Networking Event is Oct. 25

 

Are you an MBA grad or current student?

The Augsburg Alumni Board and MBA program invite you back to campus for a FREE networking event on Tuesday, October 25, in the Foss Center Atrium, beginning at 5 p.m. Mingle with fellow alumni and hear the latest in alumni opportunities supporting professional development. We share a common bond and we have a chance to influence successful outcomes for the College and fellow Auggies!

Event Details
Date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Time: 5-7 p.m.
Location: Foss Center Atrium, near Hoversten Chapel
Cost: Free!

If you have additional questions, please contact Kathy Fagen, Academic Coordinator, at 612-330-1774 or fagen@augsburg.edu. I look forward to seeing you on October 25th!

—Josh Krob ’08, ’15 MBA
Augsburg College Alumni Board

LinkedIn Alumni Group Merging with Augsburg College Group

linkedinFor those of you who attended the Auggie Networking Event on Tuesday, February 9, in Hoversten Chapel, a highlight was the demonstration of using the College’s LinkedIn group to reach out to other alumni or students. Join the Augsburg College group and increase your ability to connect with other Auggies across every field. For those who are open to being contacted for networking or mentoring, join the sub-group Auggie Student-Alumni Connections. Note: you must be part of the Augsburg College group first. For tips on connecting with Auggies across all disciplines via LinkedIn, see the how-to guide shared at the networking event.

The Augsburg Alumni LinkedIn group is in the process of merging with the College’s group. If you’re not already connected with the Augsburg College group now, do so today. The Augsburg College Alumni group will close at the end of April 2016 in an effort to form the most robust group for building connections among Auggies everywhere.

Auggie Alumni in the Classroom: Bill Koschak ’91

Bill Koschak Auggies are everywhere, including back in the classroom!  Last week, Bill Koschak ’91 came back to speak to the seniors in the Business and Religion Keystone class led by Lori Lohman & Josh Miller. His topic? To speak about his vocational journey, his career path, and advice he would give students today.

Koschak had much to share about his journey from entry level job to partner at KPMG, to vice president of finance at General Mills, and now chief financial officer at YA Engage (formerly known as Young America). He noted he was especially thankful for his adviser, business professor Stu Stoller who first encouraged him to look into public accounting. Koschak made sure Stoller would be in attendance so that he could personally thank him.

Additionally, Koschak shared that he has had three strong mentors in his career who were instrumental to his career growth. These mentors were workplace leaders he admired for their management style, ethical behavior, and focus on work-life balance. He made a point to engage with these leaders and check in with them regularly. What started as occasional meetings turned into mentoring relationships that opened up many doors. He challenged the students to seek similar relationships as they start their careers.

Koschak is one of many alumni who have been invited to share their experiences with current students. If you are interested in speaking in classrooms or sharing your stories, contact Volunteer & Alumni Engagement Manager Katie Radford ’12 at radford@augsburg.edu.

Opening Doors and Paying It Forward

RathmannThis year’s Auggie Networking Event on February 9 is the perfect opportunity for graduates of all class years and majors to connect with fellow Auggies, support student success, and build your Auggie network. This event is open to all students and alumni, and features pop-up speakers, free headshots, refreshments, and more. Beyond expanding your own alumni network, the event offers the chance to open doors for current students.

When Nick Rathmann ’03 made his way to the Augsburg campus last February for the Auggie Networking Event, he encountered blizzard conditions. But the Blake High School athletic director—not inclined toward defeat—arrived safely, only to find 250 others there as well. The popular annual event offers an evening full of connecting opportunities both for students seeking work and for alumni who can help, as well as for alumni seeking new positions.

KendallCSometime that February evening, Rathmann was introduced to Kendall Christian ’15, an Exercise Science major who was about to graduate. He discovered that she had played hockey all four years, as well as club lacrosse for two. Impressed with her professionalism and polish, as well as the description of her journey through hockey, he saw in her an ability to understand the value of the process. Her passion for sports and development was obvious to him, and he could sense she had learned some incredible life lessons, and possessed remarkable leadership skills. As Rathmann says, “Credit to Augsburg, both teachers and coaches, for her preparation. Credit to her for her motivation and focus on professional development.”

Rathmann mentioned a girls lacrosse coaching position opening up in the spring, so Christian followed up with an email, and was soon invited to the school for further discussion. Soon after, she was offered the position at Blake School, where she found amazing support for athletes and students among coaches and teachers—“professional and personable.”

Christian says, “It can be intimidating to market yourself, but Augsburg alumni are invested in helping students.” She hopes all students will use this extensive network to their full advantage.

Rathmann believes Augsburg students are inherently competitive and motivated—competitive just to get into the school, and motivated by the best traits of other students, teammates, faculty, and coaches. Those traits “rub off on you,” and you take them with you.

From the point of view of a professional alum, Rathmann says, “We have all been helped and mentored. It’s important to pay it forward when we can. A cup of coffee and a 30-minute conversation can go a long way. Augsburg grads are everywhere—and that is a great thing!”

See Kendall Christian at this year’s Auggie Networking event on February 9. As one of the evening’s pop-up speakers, she’ll share more about her story and experience as a young alumna.

—by Cheryl Crockett ’89

 

Latin@ Networking and Professional Panel Event

Alumni are coming back to campus on March 25 to meet current Latino and Latina students for the first Latin@ Networking and Professional Panel Event, sponsored by Latin@ Student Services, directed by Dulce Monterrubio ’12, Alumni Relations, the Strommen Center.

This event is the result of the self-advocacy skills of current Latin@ students who one year ago voiced their strong interest to connect with Latin@ alumni. The profile of Latin@ students at Augsburg has changed drastically over the last fifteen years. Today, there are 177 self-identified undergraduate and graduate Latin@ students compared to only 29 students in 2000. Most of these students are the first in their family to go to college, identify as Latin@ and Americans, fund their own education, commute from inner-city as well as suburban communities, and are uncertain about what the future holds after graduation.

This first-ever event offers great potential for current students to learn from the personal experiences of other Latina and Latino alumni balancing college, family and other responsibilities as they discover their interests and navigate their path. Alumni and mentors can open doors for many of the students in attendance—from sharing internship and job opportunities, to professional advice, and mentoring. The event will reassure students that it is within their reach to achieve their goals, to give back to their community, to one day serve as role models themselves, and to know they are not alone in their journey. If you have any questions, please contact Volunteer and Alumni Engagement Manager Katie Radford ’12 at radford@augsburg.edu or 612-330-1329.

Student & Alumni Networking Event

strommen

 Student & Alumni Networking Event

A reception for Augsburg students to connect

with Auggie alumni representing many careers.

Connect with fellow Auggies, support student success, and build your Auggie network!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 • 5:30−8 p.m.

Remarks by President Paul Pribbenow

Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center (map)
Augsburg College
Minneapolis

Learn more about the Strommen Center’s Alumni Resources

and Augsburg Builds Connections mentorship program

auggie RSVP bar Registration is required.

Students register here

Students with questions, contact Sandy Tilton at the Strommen Center for Meaningful Work:

 612-330-1472 ~ tilton@augsburg.edu.

Alumni with questions, contact Becky Waggoner: 612-330-1085 ~ waggoner@augsburg.edu.

alumni bar

David “DJ” Hamm ’08
Augsburg College

Sally Daniels Herron ’79
Augsburg College

Sara Schlipp-Riedel ’06
Augsburg College