It’s almost here! You may have seen a few emails about Banter and wondered what it was all about and whether or not you have the time/interest/ability to sign up.
Well. We’re here to answer your questions.
The Banter program has been active for four years now, connecting students with alumni they wouldn’t have met at Olin. We started the program as a way for the Olin community to stay connected on a personal level as the number of past- and present- Oliners grows. Can you get advice on professional decisions through banter? Sure! Is it a mentorship program? If you want! But first and foremost it’s a way to get the chance to meet an awesome person you wouldn’t have otherwise- to share Olin (and life) stories with someone who has a different perspective.
Many alumni are still interested in what’s going at Olin these days, and as a student, you have this unique insight! Conversely – it can be easy to get sucked up into the Olin bubble while you’re a student here, and getting the chance to glimpse life after Olin can be really interesting and helpful!
We pair students with alumni who have been out of Olin for several years. You can meet every week, every month, every other month – however frequently you want. You can skype, hangout, meetup in real life (!), write letters, send each other messages in bottles – whatever you want. Our team will provide interesting prompts every month that you can take or leave as you see fit. Our goal is just to help people connect!
We’ve gotten great feedback on the program last year and are always looking to improve it. Here’s some of the things pairs enjoyed last year:
“It’s fun to remember what being in school was like, see how things have changed (or stayed the same), and share some of my post-college experiences. The semester seems so short when you’re following along from the outside! I have no concept of when “summer break” is anymore!” -Sean McBride (‘07), Product Manager
It’s been easy and fun – just an informal skype call with my Banter partner once every two weeks. We talk about everything from Olin lore to neat travel destinations… it just feels really useful to share the experience I’ve acquired in the 8 years since graduating. I’ve built a career overseas working on strange projects, which is what I always wanted to do. … I wish Banter had existed when I was a student – would have been amazing to be able to chat with someone who had already accomplished what my goals were. -Laura Stupin (‘07), Senior Process Engineer
“Most of our talks have been about life and happiness and philosophy and Olin and a bit about getting into international development work (I’m in Zambia right now) …I’ve loved chatting with Laura, it’s been great to get a nice out-in-the-world-post-Olin-like-a-real-human-being perspective and we’ve had such great conversations.” -Maire Keene (‘17)
It might seem difficult to squeeze yet another thing into your schedule, so we’ve worked to make sure everything is simple and easy. Spare a little time now and make a friend for years!
-Larissa Little (‘14) and the rest of the Banter Team!