Alums speak about education, employment, future


by Collin Burwinkel
Eagle Staff

On Feb. 7, alumni from St. Thomas were on campus talking to current sophomores about the importance of focusing on school and possible career paths. For the second year, “career day” provided students with resources that will benefit them in the future.

Professionals from the arts, human services, medicine, business/management, science/engineering and natural resources were representing their respective fields.

The “question and answer” panel consisted of alumni from ‘58 to ‘04 that included doctors,  attorneys and even secret service agents.

The arts and communications panel, comprised of (left to right) Joe Gleason, Morris Malakoff, Mark de Tranaltes and Martin Hajovsky, speaks to students about their various careers. Both students and alumni enjoyed the “career day” hosted for sophomores. “I thought it was awesome,” Hajovsky said. “It shows students that there are a lot of different career opportunities out there in the real world.”

“Sophomore career day is important because it gives students information about what’s happening in the job world,” counselor Debbie Cogan said.

Not only is it important for the students, but its important for the alumni as well, according to Director of Alumni Relations Willie Madden.

“It provides the alumni a chance to reconnect with one another,” Madden said. “The reaction I got from the alumni was very positive.”

Martin Hajovsky ‘83, regional editor of The Houston Chronicle was one of the many alumni present. “I thought it was awesome,”  Hajovsky said. “It shows students that there are a lot of different career opportunities out there in the real world.

Other alumni thought that the opportunity they were being given was a time to offer not only guidance, but expertise with life skills.

“The motto and the kind of values that St. Thomas has needs to be enforced in the world we live in today, which is full of self interests,” Charles Balsam ‘68, who represents the restaurant industry said.

Similarly, feedback from the students was highly positive.

“I thought it was pretty helpful,” sophomore Jonathon Rzasnicki said. “The health services session made me realize that being a doctor is something I might not want to do anymore.”

Having alumni to reference is an important key for students in visualizing a potential career path. Knowing that the adults talking to them were in the same seats as they are makes some students feel special as well.

“I felt like if these guys could make it, I will be able to make it too,” sophomore Clay McCrory said.