Alumni Career Advice

When you're part of the Oregon State community, you're part of a family of 205,000+ Beaver alumni who are here for you. Watch the videos below to hear career advice that'll help lead you to a successful career.

Learn from everyone you meet | Penny Atkins, '79

Seeking out help when needed is one of the
best ways to find success. Penny Atkins, ’79, says
to meet as many new people as possible and be
open to mentorship from those who are eager to
contribute to your success.

In all fields, human connection is key | Dorian Smith, '09

Dorian Smith says making friends and connecting
with your professors while at OSU can be one of
the most beneficial and enjoyable ways to network.
Surround yourself with like-minded people and let
your passions shine to draw in the opportunities that
will help you grow.

The best leaders take chances | Doug Kutella, ’98

Growing through discomfort brings new skills
and fresh perspectives. Doug Kutella, ’98, advises
to continuously push yourself to become a better
leader knowing that the Oregon State community has your back.

Foresight is helpful, but determination moves mountains | Ivan Williams, ’80

Ivan Williams, ’80, chemical engineer turned
Hollywood filmmaker, shares advice for those
who find new passions later in life and follow a
winding path to their dreams.

Striving for success means early planning | Sean Gordon, ‘13

College of Business grad Sean Gordon, ‘13, shares
advice for Beavers transitioning from student to
industry professional — where to find support,
the value of asking questions and the reward that
comes with stepping outside your comfort zone.

Volunteer opportunities help you stand out | Julie Lambert, ’85

Julie Lambert, ’85, owner of a consulting group,
makes a living helping others succeed. Her advice
for current job-hunters: diverse real-world
experience is key, including all paid and
volunteer experiences that shape our passion,
character and skill set.

Communication is key | Pam Johnson, ’83

What helps you move up in an organization?
Pam Johnson, ’83, says it’s exceptional communication
skills and ambitious planning. And she would know,
after 25 years climbing through the ranks at Nike.

Ambition drives success | Doug Deurwaarder, ’01

Learning about your industry inside and out
can give you the confidence to articulate your
expertise. And in a highly competitive field,
Doug Deurwaarder, ’01, says, that ambition can
make all the difference.

Building relationships inside / outside of your field | Kim Dolan, '86

Sometimes, your connections can reveal career
possibilities you’ve never dreamed of before.
Kim Dolan, ’86, says that’s what makes branching
out to fellow professionals in and outside of your
immediate field so rewarding.

Flexibility, opportunities help employees shine | Lin Kunz Hokkanen, ’82

Keep learning. Keep trying — no matter the result.
Successful business owner Lin Kunz Hokkanen, ’82,
has discovered that continued growth and exploration
is the key to finding the niche where you can really shine.