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Advice, Mentorship, Fun

The Steward School
Alumni and seniors make meaningful connections 
Steward’s annual Alumni Inspiration Day took place on January 19 and brought together graduating seniors and Spartan alumni. The school’s mission of preparing students for college and for life is exemplified on Alumni Inspiration Day when seniors attend workshops led by successful alumni and chat about college and career goals. Building and engaging the community (including our terrific alumni!) is a component of the school’s strategic plan, Compass 2028: Inspire the Future

After a quick continental breakfast in the lobby of the Paul R. Cramer Center for the Arts, the Class of 2024 gathered in the Lora M. Robins Theatre, where they were welcomed by Jenni Booker Baker (director of development) and Sydney Smith (development special projects coordinator). 

Panel Discussion
The popular panel discussion returned this year and included two alumni parents. Panelists included Paul Cantor (president, TrustMor Mortgage Company; father of Lauren ’18, Matthew ’20, Jason ’22, and David ’22), Kammy Hambrick (retired tax partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP; mother of Jack ’17 and Alex ’21), Kemis Noble Rawls ’08 (senior project manager, CapTech Consulting) and James Schreiber ’05 (managing partner and financial advisor, Financial Services of Virginia). Braeden Glancy ’15 (administrative assistant in Steward’s College Counseling Office) moderated the discussion. 

The panelists shared their thoughts on planning for college, choosing a college major, networking, and the job-search process. They also answered questions from the seniors. When asked about the most formative part of their college education, for example, the panelists cited involvement in campus life and community service. 

“It’s all about relationships,” said Mr. Cantor. “I encourage you to join clubs and extracurriculars.” Ms. Noble said that networking is especially important in college, adding that the leadership skills and responsibility that she learned at Steward were vital to her success in college and beyond. 

Ms. Hambrick laughed when she shared that she started out as a toxicology major, but settled on accounting after realizing that long days spent in the lab were not for her. 

“Be curious!” she advised. “Take classes that you think you might enjoy.” 

When asked how Steward prepared them for college, the panelists’ Spartan pride was evident. 

“Steward does an amazing job of getting you ready for college,” said Mr. Cantor, who attributed his children’s top-notch writing skills to their Steward education. Reflecting on her college experience, Ms. Noble said, “It can feel overwhelming,” adding that, although she didn’t know anyone during her first days at Clemson University, she dove in and talked to classmates and teachers. She now has lifelong friends that she met in college. 

Caitlin Calkins ’24 said her biggest takeaway from the discussion was to “take advantage of unique opportunities in college, don’t be afraid to change your mind, get a head start on finding employment, and don’t take everything too seriously.”

Ms. Glancy added, “Shake your professors’ hands after class on your first day. That’s what Ms. [Heather] Jeter [director of Steward’s College Counseling Office] told us before we graduated. I did … and it made a real difference!” 

Learning From the Best 
Following the panel discussion, seniors attended three sessions on topics of their choice, including the ups and downs of entrepreneurship; nursing as a flexible career choice; marketing automation and AI in healthcare; working in the stock market nowhere near Wall Street; an introduction to robotics through a computer engineering lens; and more.

Thank you to our alumni presenters Chris Brown ’05, Jack Dennis ’13, Will Farmer ’15, Matthew Gelber ’15, Camberly Pearson Haith ’98, Kendall Hrabak ’04 (mother of Campbell ’34, Sam ’32, and Mary-Kate ’31), Amy Lane ’11, Alex Mayers ’93, and Sam Trepp ’15; and to alumni parent Lindsey Koerner (mother of Olivia ’20 and Chris ’17). 

Cameron Berryman ’24 found Mr. Mayers’ presentation, “Marketing Automation and Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare,” thought-provoking. Cameron observed, “He focused on the applications of the future in the modern setting, like how they use AI as a tool in marketing to save time. I feel that the most valuable relevant [idea he shared was] What comes next?”

View the program and Steward Snaps from Alumni Inspiration Day. 


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