Advice. Mentorship. Fun. All are part of Alumni Inspiration Day, which takes place annually on campus and brings together graduating seniors and Spartan alumni. This special day is an essential part of the Steward experience: “Steward for Life,” an alumni-focused pillar of the School’s most recent strategic plan, emphasizes the importance of building lifelong connections to Steward and its alumni community.
Steward’s mission of preparing students for college and for life is exemplified on Alumni Inspiration Day, when seniors attend workshops led by successful alumni.
The morning kicked off with breakfast in the lobby of the Paul R. Cramer Center for the Arts. In the Lora M. Robins Theatre, the Class of 2023 was welcomed by Jenni Booker Baker (director of development), Sydney Smith (development special projects coordinator), and Emma Krusz (development associate, alumni engagement and volunteers). A lighthearted video featuring comedian James “Murr” Murray, who stars in the television series “Impractical Jokers,” elicited lots of laughter from the audience.
This year’s event included something new: a panel discussion featuring Alumni Board members. Panelists Harry Baron ’01 (sales manager, cxLoyalty), Kiera Hintz ’13 (marketing coordinator, StyleCraft Homes), and Kam Smith ’16 (seventh-grade teacher, Metz Middle School) shared their thoughts on networking, college internships, and the job-search process, and answered seniors’ questions. Braeden Glancy ’15 (administrative assistant in Steward’s College Counseling Office) moderated the discussion.
When asked, “How did Steward set you up for success?” Mr. Baron cited the “attention, care, and love” of Steward teachers and coaches, and Mr. Smith noted that his years at Steward helped him learn to “slow down and focus.” His advice to seniors: “Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Try different things … and don’t be afraid to ask questions.” Panelists also answered questions about choosing a college major; navigating the transition from college to career; and building a top-notch résumé.
Learning From the Best
Following the panel discussion, seniors attended three sessions on topics of their choice, including marketing in the music industry; a career as a realtor; entrepreneurship; life as a medical resident; financial planning; the mental health profession; self-employment; and owning a small business.
Thank you to the following presenters: Forrest Andrews ’14 (brand strategist, Warner Music Group), Carlos Cevallos ’13, M.D. (emergency medicine resident physician, Cooper University Hospital), Amy Cooper (school counselor/therapist/mental health professional, and former Steward staff member), Mallory Burgess ’11 (client services associate, Raymond James), Bradley de Wet ’06 (entrepreneur and head of operations, iExcel), Beth Farmer-Smith ’09 (associate director of admissions, Steward), Rachel Loria ’05 (senior disability rights advocate, disAbility Law Center of Virginia), Bella Metts ’15 (self-employed copywriter and creative strategist, BCreative Co.), Meg Montgomery ’05 (realtor, Shaheen, Ruth, Martin & Fonville Real Estate), Frazer Orgain ’95 (president, Shake a Leg Consulting), James Schreiber ’05 (managing partner and financial advisor, Financial Services of Virginia), and Laura Weisiger ’02 (senior communications associate, Capital One).
A lively game of Steward trivia capped off Alumni Inspiration Day.