Alumni encourage students to get involved, stay involved

Brock student

It’s an argument students and alumni have debated for years: what matters more to employers, your degree or your experience?

At a recent student career event, Make the Connection, hosted by Brock’s Business Career Development Office (BCDO), eight young Brock business alumni argued that, although marks and degrees are important factors, they’ve achieved career success thanks to their Brock experience in workshops, events and extracurricular activities.

While studying at Brock, Matthew Petre (BBA ’06), now a member of Sobeys Ontario’s Grocery Category Management team, became heavily involved with ACE (Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship), taking on the role of president in his third year.

“My involvement with ACE Brock initiatives such as educational outreach projects, Niagara region-wide food drives and business competitions connected me with members of the community and corporate business executives,” said Petre. “One of my best friends earned a co-op placement in Toronto as a result of her meeting the president of the company at an ACE competition. Another friend met a recruiter at an ACE conference and landed his first job as a result.”

As a Brock student, Corey Eastman (BBA ’08), a member of the community and project team for Rypple, was an active Junior B hockey player for the Niagara Falls Canucks. He took a one-year leave of absence from Brock to play professional hockey in Michigan and South Carolina only to return to Brock to finish his degree. He focused on getting involved in business initiatives and dedicated time to business-related extracurricular activities. Eastman credits his involvement in hockey with providing him with the dedication and drive to succeed and his involvement in Brock and the St. Catharines community for the knowledge and connections he needed to start his own business.

Kajal Vadgama (BBA ’08), Sales and Marketing Co-ordinator for Bausch and Lomb, encourages alumni and students to “take advantage of the BCDO and Career Services here at Brock — they’re valuable resources for helping you advance your career.”

The Business Career Development Office (BCDO) is a resource that supports the career planning and job search needs of Faculty of Business students through one-on-one and group advising, networking and recruiting events, and on-campus employer sessions.

Make the Connection is an annual event where Faculty of Business alumni participate in a panel presentation and speak to current students about the world of work and the strategies they used that led to their success in business. 

“Events like Make the Connection,” said Stephanie Sugamori, BCDO Co-ordinator, “provide current students with an opportunity to learn about career options, network with industry professionals, and see first-hand the value of their Brock business degree. For our alumni, these events allow them to reconnect with their alma mater while sharing their knowledge and experience with a new class of business students. Alumni are encouraged to contact us to find out about other opportunities to get involved and stay connected with the Faculty of Business.”

Christopher Capredoni (BBA ’91), business development director for Capredoni Giftware Ltd., and technology director for Capredoni Enterprises Ltd., encourages students to stay connected to Brock. “There are resources here that are not easy to come by in the business world. And with over 70,000 alumni, there is access to a lot of talent.”

Capredoni is the 2010-11 Brock University Alumni Association co-president and was featured as the event’s keynote speaker. In his address, he describes 17 ways to remain successful in one’s entrepreneurial or corporate career. To read his list, check out the Brock News article “Seventeen rules of business survival

For more information on the BCDO, visit

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