When the Hannifan Center for Career and Alumni Connections recently renamed itself to reflect its new role in establishing relationships with Lynn graduates, the office needed a familiar face.

Laura Gilli Lynn alumna, filled those shoes as the alumni engagement facilitator. Responsible for building programs and hosting events for Lynn’s 17,000+ alumni, she creates opportunities for alumni to support current Lynn students.

“While so much of [job finding] is what you know, a huge part of it is also who you know,” said Gilli. “The alumni and student base here are so well connected and want to help each other more than other university I’ve seen.”

Gilli first came to Lynn in 2010, where she quickly realized the opportunities across campus. After a brief transfer to and from an institution in her hometown of Providence, she found her ideal fit in Boca Raton and set her pursuits on hospitality management.

“I felt as though my professors [in Rhode Island] weren’t as connected in the industry like they were at Lynn,” said Gilli. “After a year and half, I convinced my parents to let me transfer back, and I’m so happy I made that decision.”

During her time in undergraduate studies, Gilli was one of the first peer mentors. She was also involved with the Hospitality Club, eventually becoming president. After graduation, she received her master’s the following year and has succeeded in the career connections field ever since.

“Most of the people who donate to Lynn are alumni,” said Gilli. “We found over the course of the last couple of years that we haven’t had as many graduates engaging in ways other than financial contributions.”

In an effort to connect alumni with both current students and others in their chosen field of expertise, Gilli looks to implement initiatives to better foster these bonds.

“When people graduate from [Lynn], we don’t just want them to write a check and [we] never hear from them again,” said Gilli. “We want to keep them involved with things currently happening on campus and to facilitate relationships with other alumni and the current student body.”

As the Hannifan Center for Career and Alumni Connections continues to bring opportunities to the Lynn community, students can expect to see additional events utilizing the power of alumni. For more information, students can stop by Gilli’s office on the first floor of the Eugene M. and Christine E. Lynn Library.

Nicole Cleri

Nicole Cleri, a 19-year-old from Port St. Lucie, is a sophomore/junior in the 3.0 program. She aspires to become a journalist beyond college. When not at school, Cleri loves to be with her friends and family, or working at one of her three jobs.

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