- This event has passed.
November 18, 2021 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm EST
This year’s Great Conversations will be held virtually so that alumni hosts can network with students about various topics including careers, majors, and other areas of interest. Students should register for the topic of their choice and engage in conversations in individual breakout rooms. These conversations will hopefully create a continued connection between the host and the student. Descriptions of each room topic are below:
Daniela Pirela ’20
Breakout Room Topic: Self Reflection
Breakout Room Topic Title: How to Market Yourself During Challenging Times
Topic Description: This breakout room will discuss how it doesn’t matter what your major or skill level is when seeking a job during challenging times. Graduation can be a scary time, especially during a pandemic. We will go over how to use your unique skill sets to find your career path in unusual places. Sometimes the job is searching for you instead of you searching for the job.
Biography: Daniela was an international student to Berea College from Venezuela. She graduated in 2020 with a dual degree in communications and French. After graduation, she held a BereaCorp position with the Berea Fund Office in the division of Alumni, Communications and Philanthropy. In her spare time, Daniela likes good food, good books, and good friendships.
Rosie Green Ballinger ’08
Breakout Room Topic: Non-profit
Breakout Room Topic Title: Working in Non-Profit Management
Topic Description: This breakout room will discuss Rosie’s experiences at Berea College that led to success in non-profit work. We will cover topics that range from the importance of community relationships and how different paths can lead to non-profit work. For those that may be interested in Teach for America, we will be able to cover information, especially in the Appalachia region.
Biography: Rosie Green Ballinger was a 2008 Berea College graduate who majored in sociology with a minor in peace and social justice. Upon graduation, she attended the University of New Orleans to obtain a master’s in urban and regional planning. During this time, she worked closely with non-profits in New Orleans and South Louisiana in community resilience and hazard mitigation. After five years working in operations and finance for Teach for America Appalachia, Rosie currently serves as Chief of Staff for the region.
Brandon Pollock ’19
Breakout Room Topic: Finance
Breakout Room Topic Title: 4 states – 3 jobs – 2 years: Starting a Career in Finance
Topic Description: This breakout room will discuss how finance is a diverse career field. It is important to understand the industry framework when planning your career. Brandon will help break down the different entry-level roles, paths, and opportunities to be aware of when making your decisions. He will guide you in your next steps especially if you are a business major looking at plans after graduation.
Biography: Brandon was a 2019 graduate in business administration with concentrations in finance and marketing. He was CAB’s director in his senior year and helped plan many activities during that time. Since graduation, he has intentionally worked in many different roles to make himself marketable in this field. He is now serving as a credit analyst at Credit Suisse working with an investment banking team in real estate asset finance. He has passed his CFA level 1 and has his SIE, Series 7 and Series 66 licenses. In his spare time, he enjoys Zumba and reading.
Eugeniu Prodan ’17
Breakout Room Topic: Social Media/Blogging: Hobbies and Passions
Breakout Room Topic Title: Pursuing Your Passions
Topic Description: This breakout room will discuss working on your career goals as you navigate your hobbies and passions. We will talk about how to avoid neglecting your passions by giving special attention to tools like social media, blogging, and YouTube.
Biography: Eugeniu is a 2017 graduate of Berea College in economics and business administration from Moldova. After a brief time at a software startup in San Diego, he moved to New York City in 2018 as a business analyst at TD Ameritrade. He is currently pursuing a graduate degree at Texas A&M.
Ron Young ’18
Breakout Room Topic: Politics and Advocacy
Breakout Room Topic Title: Beyond a Debate: How to Engage in the Political System Around You
Topic Description: This breakout room will discuss engagement in politics. Beyond the television version of government, with its cigar smoke filled steakhouses, closed door meetings and lobbyist riddled politics, discover how government works, how laws are made, and how you can become a part of the change you want to see. Learn how to engage in local, state and federal levels of government, and discover unique ways to turn passions or experience in any major into a governmental or political-focused career.
Biography: Ron is a 2018 graduate of Berea College. He is currently the Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs in Maryland. Previously, Ron was the Managing Partner of McMillan & Young Consultants, where he counseled clients and organizations on government relations matters involving United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, food systems, civil rights, and health and healthcare policy. This work led Ron to appear on radio shows and television networks, such as CNN, Vice News, and MTV, sharing policy insights. Ron leverages previous experiences including stints at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in both legislative and Health focused programmatic roles, the Senate Agriculture Committee, the Maryland Senate as legislative Director, and the FDA Practice Group at Venable LLP.