Stay hungry and stay in touch with your alma mater

Southern Illinois University



Stay hungry and stay in touch with your alma mater

May 14, 2015, Katja Sonkeng


Gregory A. Lee Professor of Management Dr. Steven Karau, in a highly engaging conversation with a student.       

The big day, we've all been waiting for is here! Leaving Saluki land, home to SIU Carbondale students for the last one to four years, is certainly a time of mixed feelings, including pride, joy, excitement and relief – and also fear of the unknown. The questions “What will I do after I graduate?” and “How will I find a job?” have been voiced at one time or another by students of every generation.

As the graduating seniors of the College of Business get ready to walk across the stage Saturday, May 16, at the SIU Arena, three SIU College of Business faculty and staff members offered up some words of wisdom about entering the real world.

Marc Morris, an assistant professor of accountancy and director of the Master of Accountancy degree program, provided some helpful tips for landing a job after college. The Carbondale native encouraged future SIU College of Business alumni to focus on the following:

  • Build your networking skills.
  • Do your research.
  • Use your summertime wisely.
  • Craft your online persona to be more appealing to potential employers.
  • Don’t overlook small companies.
  • Become an accomplished writer.

Morris, an SIU alumnus himself, strongly believes that the first step to success is making connections as early as possible. In addition to Facebook and Twitter, business platforms such as LinkedIn and BranchOut are useful tools. He also emphasized that an internship or summer job are great door-openers.

To make this new journey a successful one, Morris further emphasized on the often-overlooked skill of paying attention.

“Listen more than you talk, and learn as much as you can from the ‘old hands’ – and from their critics,” Morris said.

Equally important, he said, are excellent communication skills, as these are essential for most careers today – not to mention that it sets you apart from the rest of your graduating class.

Steven Karau, the current Gregory A. Lee professor of management at the SIU College of Business, added another valuable piece of advice to the mix.

“After graduation, it is important to always keep learning and developing your skills,” Karau said. “Try to stay open-minded and adventurous. Also, starting a new career is exciting and challenging, but it can also be very stressful. Try to keep your schedule balanced by leaving plenty of time for exercise, sleep and spending time with family.”

Jill Gobert, the current director of development and alumni relations at the SIU College of Business and an SIU double alumna, reminds future alumni that they do not have to travel this exciting yet unknown journey on their own.

“As you begin your post-college journey, please remember to stay connected to your alma mater,” Gobert said. “One easy way to do this is by joining the SIU Alumni Association. There are approximately 240,000 SIU alumni and they are located in every state, which can provide recent graduates powerful professional networking opportunities as well as social engagement opportunities through alumni chapter functions and a vibrant online community. Please visit to learn more about the SIU Alumni Association. Remember, once a Saluki, always a Saluki!”

Equipped with these few pearls of wisdom, the future CoB graduates are hopefully well-prepared for their new adventures and exciting chapters of their life.

Please join us to applaud the College of Business May graduates and cheer for them at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 16, when they walk across the stage at the SIU Arena.