University of Calgary

Class of '09

Celebrating the class of ’09

Website, information, contests and speakers help prepare students to launch

By Jennifer Allford

From pictures of students in garbage bags or angel wings, to a conversation with a hip hop producer and TV host; from winning $1,000, to tips on networking—2009 graduates are getting a boost as they prepare to launch.

Graduatingthisyear.com, a website from Alumni Relations and the Alumni Association, went live in January with information, contests and speakers all aimed at helping prepare students to graduate and get ready for the next stage in their lives.   

“It’s been a lot of fun,” says Catherine Bagnell Styles, associate vice-president (external relations).

Dr. Kimberley Amirault—who is internationally renowned for groundbreaking contributions to the field of performance psychology—w

Dr. Kimberley Amirault—who is internationally renowned for groundbreaking contributions to the field of performance psychology—will give a lunch-time presentation on March 27 at Mac Hall.
/ Photo: Ken Bendiktsen
“And most importantly, students are really responding. In the first six weeks, the site had more than 11,500 visitors and more than 1,500 people have entered the different contests.”

The idea was to build on student excitement about graduating and create a portal of information about everything from the logistics around convocation to tips on negotiating a job offer.

“We built two different contests for graduatingthisyear.com to attract students to the site and to congratulate them on their accomplishments,” Bagnell Styles says.

The first contest is a straight-up draw where students enter to win prizes including: $1,000 cash, Sunshine Village day passes, gift certificates for Redwater Grille, Hotel Arts, Inner Balance Spa, financial advice from Wellington West Clearsight, goodies from Big Rock and tickets to see dance and theatre.

The other contest—What Not to Wear to Work—has also been a hit. Students have submitted photos of themselves in all sorts of ridiculous outfits in hopes of winning one of six wardrobe makeovers from Blu’s and Henry Singer, plus haircuts from Hedkandi.

Anthony Seto (left) and Rachel Wik really know what “not” to wear to work. It’s all part of a makeover contest for students gra

Anthony Seto (left) and Rachel Wik really know what “not” to wear to work. It’s all part of a makeover contest for students graduating this year.
Two speakers are also helping to celebrate the 2009 graduating class. Sol Guy, a music producer, social activist and host of MTV’s 4Real, gave an inspiring and personal presentation about how his career came to be. Dr. Kimberley Amirault—who is internationally renowned for groundbreaking contributions to the field of performance psychology—will give a lunch-time presentation on March 27 at Mac Hall. Amirault, PhD’00, will share the strategies she’s used to help professional sports teams, Olympic athletes and business people achieve their goals.

“We really want the class of 2009 to know that their university helped them with the transition to life after classes and helped them with the celebration,” says Bagnell Styles. “We are pleased to help the graduating class on their way, we wish them the best of luck and we really hope that when they’re alumni, they’ll stay in touch.”