Thursday, May 23, 2013



Business acumen is made up of a number of qualities. Experience is vital. Wisdom is crucial. Business sense and customer centric are game changers. And these resources are all available from connections with successful BYU alumni.

You may have heard the phrase referring to learning life's lessons from the "school of hard knocks." Just as this term implies, it can be difficult learning through trial and error and very expensive to deal with mistakes. But every storm cloud has a silver lining; even difficult things have value. We really can't measure the impact of the wisdom that comes from dealing with challenges in our lives. Nor can one value the expertise of successfully handling serious problems.

I remember taking a racquetball class as a freshman. My instructor was an old man—or at least that was my perspective back then. His policy was that we would play him once at the beginning of the semester and then again at the end of the semester, so he could evaluate how much we had improved. He was a nice old guy, and I thought my enthusiasm and dexterity could at least give him a run for his money. I was right about one thing...there was a lot of running, but it wasn't him that was doing it. It was me, dashing from one corner of the court to the next to retrieve the balls he effortlessly placed there. I couldn't seem to get ahead. My stamina didn't hold up. And it was obvious his talent far surpassed my desire. He beat me soundly.

Whether it's playing racquetball in college with an elderly instructor or feeling confident in the business world, wisdom—when it matters—comes from experience, skill, good business sense, and applying one's relationships. Mentoring, therefore, can help.

The Alumni Mentoring Partnership is a semi-formal group of alumni organized within a company in a specific region or location. BYU Alumni Career Services sponsors this group of alumni who have agreed to mentor students and employment-seeking alumni by guiding these unemployed individuals through the application, interview process and networking within their companies. Ideally, these mentors can also provide guidance for recently-hired or current employees during their time at the company.

And relationships are where BYU Alumni Career Services really shines.

There are lessons we don't want to learn for ourselves. It's especially at times like these when blogs, knowhow, and mentors come in handy. All of these resources are available through ACS and can save ambitious individuals from having to learn lessons through the school of hard knocks.

What knowledge have you acquired that can save others the discomfort of learning these lessons for themselves?

We are interested in your feedback. Share your insights below.

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Thursday, April 18, 2013



Amidst the number of job boards and career fairs available in today’s world, networking is still the best mechanism for landing jobs, according to Scott Greenhalgh, manager of Alumni Career Services. Statistics agree.

When Greenhalgh began working for the BYU Alumni Career Services more than 20 years ago, technology was a little different: boom boxes played the best music and Google hadn’t even been created. At that time, networking filled 80% of the jobs. (

Today, technology has drastically changed. Facebook, Twitter, email, and instant messaging among other social media are primary methods of communication. However, experts still claim that 80% of jobs are filled by networking. (

While we’ve changed our clothes and what we plug our headphones into, one of the standards we’ve maintained is the fact that physical connections with real people are key.

Greenhalgh travels the country meeting with representatives from numerous companies, such as AT&T, Discover, Exxon, Fidelity, KSL, Proctor and Gamble, Texas Instruments and many more. He recruits BYU alumni from each of these companies to sign up for the Alumni Mentoring Partnership (AMP). AMP acts as a diving board into the business world; it provides interested individuals with an instant connection in companies throughout the nation.

“We’ve learned that each of us can make a difference. We may not be able to do everything, but we can each do something. We have come to fully understand what Gandhi meant when he said “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” We’re trying to live integrated lives, not isolated lives…and make a difference in the world around us,” said Warner Woodworth, global social entrepreneur and faculty member at the Marriott School of business…and BYU alumnus.

Still wondering what BYU connections can do for you? There are dozens of examples that demonstrate the benefit different connections can make.

Nobody wants to miss that kind of opportunity. It could change your life forever.