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Millikin University > Alumni & Friends > Stay Connected > MY Times > Issues
Young Alumni Spotlight: Kara Allison '12
Kara AllisonKara tests out the captain's chair in an Apache helicopter during Fort Riley's "Apple Days" in Kansas.

Kara Allison '12 is the public program coordinator at the First Division Museum of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, working with the U.S. Army’s active duty 1st Infantry Division. She has traveled to the division's headquarters in Fort Riley, Kan., to co-host events such as “Apple Days,” where civilians are given access to the base and encouraged to ride in Humvees, test fire weapons, interact with soldiers and more. These events bring more than 10,000 visitors to the base. Kara is also responsible for bringing notable speakers to the museum for a monthly lecture series, “A Date with History.”

In February, Kara presented a research paper, “Our Changing Curriculum: Using Local History Institutions as Resources,” at the annual conference for CASE (Council for American Studies Education). In March, she attended the Society for Military History Conference in New Orleans and conducted meetings with the National World War II Museum to discuss implementation of travel programs to battlefields abroad with focus on the 1st Infantry Divisions from World War I and World War II.

Kara also was selected by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation to help dedicate a memorial at the Rhone American Cemetery in France in May. She spent Memorial Day weekend in Nice, France, learning the history of the Rhone Cemetery, traveling to local museums and battlefields and interacting with guests at the dedication. Her article, “On Point: Journal of Army History,” will be published later this summer in The Army Historical Foundation’s quarterly journal.

Kara had a double major in history and social science secondary education at Millikin where she was an active member of Delta Delta Delta, MilliSTAT, Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Alpha Theta history honors society.

Want to be spotlighted as the "Young Alum of the Month?" We are seeking recommendations and self-nominations for outstanding young alumni who have demonstrated innovative and responsible professional leadership and have the potential for future success. Email Jaclyn Weisenborn '09, associate director of alumni engagement, with a short write-up of why you or your nominee should be considered for this profile. Please include a list of successes and achievements in your nomination, and attach a portrait or headshot (if available). One alum will be featured each month in MY Times.

Career Corner: Major Decisions

Based on the most recent follow-up survey for Millikin’s class of 2012, just over 20 percent of graduates reported working in a position unrelated to their college major, while close to 80 percent felt their career was related to their major. If you are among those looking to find a career beyond your academic discipline, the following information may help you focus on the skills needed to land a job.

Whether you are planning a career change or currently looking for a job, it is important to identify the skills a prospective employer is seeking. This information can be obtained by combing through job descriptions and highlighting skills and qualities necessary to succeed in the position. Networking conversations can also provide great insider tips on what it takes to succeed in a particular position or industry (get connected on Millikin’s Mentoring Network ). If needed, step back and explore on O*Net Online and use the advanced search feature, which allows you to explore careers based on areas including interests, knowledge and skills, among other categories. This can help determine other careers that may be a good fit for you beyond your specific area of study.

After determining the skills needed to succeed in the career(s) you are pursuing, reflect not only on your academic work but on all of your marketable skills. Knowing what you have to offer is key. Be aware that there are a variety of skills employers look for that can be developed through a range of experiences. According to the Job Outlook for 2013 published by The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the top skills and qualities employers look for in new hires include:

  • Ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization
  • Ability to work in a team structure
  • Ability to make decisions and solve problems
  • Ability to plan, organize and prioritize work
  • Ability to obtain and process information
  • Ability to analyze quantitative data
  • Technical knowledge related to the job
  • Proficiency with computer software programs
  • Ability to create and/or edit written reports
  • Ability to sell or influence others

If you can demonstrate to an employer that you have the skills needed to be successful in a position, your major is likely to be of less importance. Better yet, having a non-traditional background may be something you can market to show you are capable of taking a creative approach. However, depending on the career you are pursuing, more specialized education may be needed. But never sell yourself short. Consider the value of the transferable skills you can offer an employer. Your well-rounded Millikin education has likely given you a firm foundation.

By Kristin Nisbet-White, assistant director of the Millikin Career Center

Summer Reading Guide

Following are excerpts from the popular summer reading list compiled each year by Millikin faculty and staff, along with the names of the individuals recommending each book. For the complete 2013 Summer Reading Guide, visit the Staley Library Pinterest page.

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
by Ben Fountain
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and a finalist for the National Book Award, this satire is set in Texas during the Iraq war. Billy and his friends are serving in Iraq when they inadvertently become media darlings and are whisked back to the states for a “Victory Tour,” featuring a stop at Texas Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. On this last stop before their return to Iraq, the soldiers learn that the real war and the war being “sold” to the folks back home are two very different things.
Recommended by Andy Matthews, adjunct English faculty member.

Women from the Ankle Down: The Story of Shoes and How They Define Us

Women from the Ankle Down: The Story of Shoes and How They Define Us
by Rachelle Bergstein
Bergstein’s book delves into the history of shoes and the women who wear them. A must-read for those who, like Cinderella, have found that the right shoe really can change your life.
Recommended by Judi Crowe, assistant professor of English and director of the Writing Center.

Romey’s Order

Romey’s Order
by Atsuro Riley
These poems reveal the world of Romey, a half-Japanese, half-white little boy growing up in the South Carolina low country. Visit www.atsuroaudio.org to hear Riley read his poetry.
Recommended by Kate Henson, visiting lecturer in English.

Have you read one or more of these books? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Aren't you due to visit MU?

View the Millikin calendar for more upcoming events.

  • June 7, 10, 11, 12: Freshman Orientation and Registration
  • June 20: MBA Preview Night
  • Oct. 4-6: Homecoming 2013
As seen on campus and beyond!

Here's a glimpse of student events this past month. Have a photo or video to share? Email Jaclyn Weisenborn, and your images could be shared with other young alumni!

Photos:
1: The rainy day couldn't dampen spirits of the class of 2013. Following the annual Senior Dinner, the candlelight ceremony was held in Lower RTUC in early May.
2-4: From left: Jake Pearson, Stephanie A. Helfgott and Brian Hilderbrand performed for fellow seniors at the Senior Dinner.
5-6: 2013 graduates gather outside the Decatur Civic Center following the commencement celebration.
As Seen On Campus Photo Collage

Big Blue Question

In honor of the recent commencement celebrations, we asked our alumni Facebook audience to share their favorite cap-and-gown photos. Visit the Millikin Alumni Facebook page to view some of the great photos that were shared. And don't forget to "like" us while you're there!

Have an idea for a Big Blue Question? Email Jaclyn Weisenborn '09, associate director of alumni engagement, with your suggestions.

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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
 
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL