Students welcome at Alumni Weekend

By Heather Scroering

Columbia will kick off its fifth consecutive Alumni Weekend on Sept. 23–25.

Though the weekend is geared mostly toward alumni, there are a few events for current students as well.

The three-day weekend is loaded with career workshops and social gatherings for alumni. Among the festivities is the Student & Alumni Luncheon on Sept. 24 at noon on the eighth floor of the 1104 S. Wabash Ave. Building. Students and parents will have the opportunity to mingle and listen to the experiences of Columbia graduates.

“It’s a great opportunity for both sides,” said Cynthia Vargas, assistant director of alumni programming. “Alumni love to hear what students are doing because the school has changed so much, and students like to hear where alumni are now and [how they got there]. So it’s a good opportunity to start networking.”

Students and parents are invited to the Alumni Casting Industry Panel on Sept. 24 at 4:30 p.m., on the eighth floor of the 1104 Center, 1104 S. Wabash Ave. Collin Daniel (’94), casting director of “Hot in Cleveland,” will join others in talking about ways students can break into the television industry.

The panel is not just for film and video students, according to Vargas. It will be beneficial to students of all majors in various ways, she said.

“If you’re a fiction student, you should know how shows and movies get casted because 75 percent of movies are adapted from books,” Vargas said. “If you’re a fashion major … they need costumes … so why not hear what they have in mind when they cast people?”

Vargas extends her services beyond the Alumni Weekend and stresses the importance of starting to network during the student’s first semester at Columbia.

“[Students] get to know us,” Vargas said. “They get to know each other. They get to know alumni, so you’re already starting that web of connection. Even if you’re shy about it, the more practice you put into it, the better, and why not do it as a student? People are much more forgiving [to students] because you’re learning.”