Tag Archives: Mark Kozera

Vikings Sports Alliance Group PhotoMAKING CONNECTIONS: Alumnae and students participating in the recent Viking Sports Alliance mentoring program pause for a group photo.

“Know how to lead, even if you don’t wear the captain’s band on your arm.”

So advised Hannah Parker (18C), a former Berry soccer player now pursuing a master’s degree at Wake Forest University, during the recent Viking Sports Alliance mentoring program. Parker was one of approximately 40 alumnae and students – all current or former athletes – in attendance at the one-day event organized by Ginger Swann (93C), assistant athletic director for sports medicine and senior woman administrator for Berry athletics. Student media coverage.

Communication major Bruno Rose networks with Pam Kinzer Rogers (89C) at a recent Viking Connections event.

Communication major Bruno Rosa networks with Pam Kinzer Rogers (89C) during a recent Viking Connections-Employers event.

For Berry students, hearing from those who have “been there and done that” is key to their success – and alumni are quick to lend their expertise and support. This culture of mentorship – a key component of the new Berry Compact – is evident all across campus, from the advice and support provided by Roy Miller (58C) as an entrepreneur-in-residence to the many alumni who volunteer to conduct mock interviews with graduating seniors (eight this semester alone!). You can also see it in the eagerness of the more than 30 recent graduates who signed up for this spring’s Young Alumni Partner Program, an annual event pairing our newest alumni with seniors preparing to make the jump to post-college life.

On one recent evening, 37 students interested in the humanities and nonprofits traveled to Atlanta for a Viking Connections-Employers event involving 35 different employer representatives, 22 of them alumni. The night kicked off with speed networking, where students had one minute to answer questions like, “What’s your elevator pitch?” or “What’s your greatest accomplishment?” The icebreaker was followed by 1.5 hours of one-on-one interaction between students and alumni/employers/guests.

Berry hosts several Viking Connections-Employers events per year, each focusing on different schools and majors. Students are encouraged to expand their network of contacts and gain industry knowledge. The connections they make have led to internships and job offers.

Interested in lending your voice and experience to such efforts? Email Mark Kozera (79C) in employer development for information on Viking Connections-Employers, and be sure to follow Berry Alumni on Facebook for news of other opportunities!

By Jennifer Wright

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Viking Connections-Employers Event in AtlantaAbove: The Atlanta skyline provides the perfect backdrop for a January Viking Connections-Employers event hosted by the firm of Nelson Mullins.

Berry students preparing to enter the workforce had four opportunities this academic year to network with alumni through the Viking Connections-Employers program.

Now in its fifth year, Viking Connections-Employers is a great way for students to tap into Berry’s alumni network as they interact with graduates on every rung of the career ladder, from young professionals to executives.

“We hear over and over again that our alumni really enjoy working with our students,” said Mark Kozera (79C), director of employer development for Berry’s Student Work Experience Program. “We’ve had a lot of success with students getting internships and jobs as a result of these events.”

This year’s events had four specific areas of focus: business, the humanities, nonprofits and Northwest Georgia. Alumni in attendance hailed from companies as diverse as Habitat for Humanity, the Centers for Disease Control, Jackson Spalding, Georgia Power and Turner Broadcasting.

David Nuckolls (10C), who attended one of the events as a representative of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, praised the quality of the students he met, noting, “I’m encouraged by the level of talent, aptitude, and work readiness these students possess and feel very confident that their participation in this program will guide them on their path to success.”

Alumni wishing to participate in future Viking Connections-Employers events should email mkozera@berry.edu.

By student writer Kendall Aronson

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Viking ConnectionsStudents working toward careers in business and the humanities honed their networking chops through participation in two recent “Viking Connections” events in Atlanta.

Piloted in 2014, this program allows students to build career connections with successful professionals – many of them alumni. The impressive roster of participating employers included Chick-fil-A, Turner Broadcasting, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Invesco, Cox Communications, the Peace Corps, Jackson Spalding and AT&T.

“The primary focus of Viking Connections is helping students build relationships that will lead to jobs after graduation,” said Mark Kozera (79C), director of employer development for Berry’s Work Experience Program. “It’s also an excellent way to engage alumni, providing opportunities for them to assist students while also expanding their own career networks.”

The program has already borne fruit for students, with several securing summer internships through their participation in the 2014 pilot events.

Alumni interested in participating in future Viking Connections events or offering other types of career assistance for current students should contact Kozera at mkozera@berry.edu.

By Maxine Donnelly, philanthropic communications student assistant

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