Walsh College

Starting a New Chapter in Life

Starting a New Chapter in Life

Stephanie Zytowski

By Guest Blogger: Stephanie Zytowski, BBA '11, MM '13

For ten years, I juggled working full-time, taking classes at Walsh College, as well as spending time with family and friends. Like most Walsh alum, the juggling act taught me how to manage and prioritize my schedule so that I was using my time efficiently and effectively. When I submitted my final paper, I realized my life was about to change and it sunk in – I was graduating. The heavy load I had carried for the last ten years was going to lighten up. A new chapter of my life was about to be written and I had no idea where to begin. All I had known for the last ten years was about to change. It became a scary thought, but ended up turning into something that would open my eyes to new beginnings and opportunities.

Free time had been rare and far between for so long. After my final semester ended, it took about two weeks to realize I had free time. It was time to get involved because not having something to do was not only boring (if you can believe that), but I felt like I had lost connections with so many aspects of the business world. How would I keep in touch with old classmates? How would I stay updated with business trends? How would I meet new people and expand my professional network? These questions led me to reach out via LinkedIn to Duc Abrahamson, Alumni and Student Relations Manager at Walsh College

At the time, my experience with LinkedIn was minimal, but I knew it was time to start establishing and marketing myself. This is where my new chapter began. After Duc and I connected, we spoke on the phone and she explained the goals and descriptions of various committees that Walsh offered to Alumni. Two months later, after a simple LinkedIn connection and phone call, I am now a member of the Golf Outing Committee and Marketing & Communications Committee. This was one of the best decisions I have made since graduation. Several of the board and committee members have become my friends and mentors, helping me understand the importance of networking, appropriate business interactions at events, and how good it feels to give back to Walsh, the institution that has supported my success and skill development over the last four years. I can only imagine how many more lessons I will learn from my fellow alum and how it will help me grow, not only as a person, but as a professional.


Graduation season is now behind us. I remind you of the importance of networking whether you are a 2013 graduate or if you are celebrating your 25th anniversary as a graduate.

  • Creating and maintaining a LinkedIn account plays a significant role in marketing yourself and/or your business, consider joining the Walsh College Alumni LinkedIn Group
  • Maintaining relations/connections with those that you previously interacted including alumni and professors
  • Maintaining connections with those that you have met at various functions and events; you never know when your paths will cross again
  • Maintaining connections with current and past colleagues as well as vendors
  • Social media sites like LinkedIn are a way to market your accomplishments and skill set; remember to keep it professional
  • Join organizations that you are passionate about, because the end result will be success and a smile knowing you are doing what you love; get involved with the WCAA today

This chapter is still being written, but what I can say to my fellow alumni is that with determination and support of Walsh College faculty/staff, current students and alumni, I will continue to write successful chapters, build relationships, and inspire others to accomplish their goals. I can now say that I have something to do in my free time, and that is giving back and being a member of dynamic committees with people who have the same goals. It is truly inspiring and motivational.

What do you do to stay connected and on top of business trends? Share your recommendations below.

-Stephanie M. Zytowski
Nemeth Burwell, P.C.


3 Comment(s) so far | Skip to comment form

Brenda Meller on July 2, 2013 at 01:28 pm

To stay connected, I use LinkedIn frequently to send invitations to connect, accept invitations and get to know new connections, and read status updates both in the LinkedIn groups and on my LinkedIn homepage from my 1st level connections (like you!). To stay on top of business trends, I identify the trendsetters and follow them. This includes people, companies, and even events. My employer (Walsh) encourages its employees to attend industry conferences and events for this purpose. I've found it so much more fulfilling to work at an employer which understands the importance of continual learning and networking. Great job on your blog, Stephanie! And I'm glad you're staying connected with Walsh.

Derek Baker on July 4, 2013 at 01:00 pm

To stay connected, I also use LinkedIn but I have found several times where the person I wanted to connect with did not have a LinkedIn account. I suggest always getting a phone number and e-mail address. I have also had times where I cannot connect with the person unless I know there e-mail address, so this trick has saved me. For those in the younger generation you are keeping in touch with, text messaging seems to be the go-to method. To identify business trends, I have a student subscription to both the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. I have found most news comes as a byproduct of those sources. As Brenda mentioned LinkedIn's trendsetters can be helpful if you want to get your news from there. Thank you for sharing your experience Stephanie. WCAA needs leaders like you working on important events like the Golf Outing. I look forward to meeting you at their next board meeting and I hope you continue to contribute as a guest blogger here.

shannon mackie on July 9, 2013 at 01:23 pm

I find that social networking is important, but so are face-to-face meetings.

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