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Alumni services offer seminars

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Have you ever wanted to learn how a golf business meeting works or how to make a great first impression?

The University of Calgary Alumni office, through its student initiative graduatingthisyear.com, is organizing a seminar series aimed at graduating students in order to help them prepare for life after university. The series is designed to inform students in an interactive, informal way of what to expect following graduation. The seminars offer everything from financial planning assistance to advice on how to dress in business settings. One seminar even features a personality test. Each seminar offers a different topic and all provide food.

"[We want] to instill pride and celebrate the success of our graduating students," said Matthew Fox, associate director of external relations. "[We want] to help graduates make that backpack-to-briefcase transition."

The seminars are being offered -- mostly free -- in a comprehensive effort to provide graduates with useful tips and skills for their prospective careers.

According to senior class ambassador Scarlett Crockatt, these seminars celebrate graduates' successes and assist with the transition out of university.

"I'm trying to go to as many as I can," said Crockatt. "I think they're going to tell you a bit about graduating, [and] what you can expect after."

The hightlight of the series, which will hopefully attract several hundred students, is a speech by alumni Dr. Kimberley Amirault, who worked with two of the largest professional sports teams in North America as well as with the Canadian Olympic teams.

"I'm excited," said Crockatt. "She's supposed to be a really great, inspiring speaker."

Many of the seminars are based on interviews and discussions with graduates and alumni conducted last year.

"We went back to some young alumni, and we asked them, 'what do you know today that you would have loved to have known when you graduated?' " said Fox.

The program will be expanded in following years.

"[It's] really the first of its kind in Canada," said Fox. "There's no other university doing this for its students that we're aware of."

"We'd like to see more people come out," added Crockatt. "They're a good time and they're not a big time commitment from your day."

Registration and details for the seminars are provided on graduatingthisyear.com. The series has been tailored to graduates, but anyone is welcome to attend. Student feedback and suggestions for future seminars are welcomed and encouraged.

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