BYU Student Association’s Take a Cougar to Lunch program is full of networking opportunities for current students to connect with alumni.
About 1,000 students this year have received free lunch and advice from former Cougars. The Take a Cougar to Lunch program was launched in 2005 and has been connecting students with employers and former Cougars for almost a decade.
Blake Drennan, a junior studying finance, has met with six alumni. He said his most memorable lunch was with Ron Blood, senior vice president of Investments and financial adviser for Wells Fargo.
Drennan learned that choosing a career was not just about the money and that he would be happy if he chose a career he loved and could balance with his family life. “The money will follow … as long as I make myself a valuable asset for the company,” Drennan said.
BYU Student Alumni President Brody Bushnell said the Take a Cougar to Lunch program gives students an opportunity to learn about the pros and cons of a profession from a BYU grad who has experience. Bushnell said the alumni they work with are always eager to help students.
“(The) environment … is very nonthreatening,” Bushnell said. “Creating beneficial connections for students is the whole purpose.”
Bushnell went to lunch with a local entrepreneur and said he left with a better understanding of common entrepreneurial difficulties. “This actually impacted my current professional goals,” Bushnell said.
He’s planning to go to lunch soon with an alumnus in the finance sector and hopes other students will take advantage of this “too-good-to-be-true” opportunity.
“Just sign up,” said BYU Student Alumni Vice-President Peter Fife.”It takes two minutes.”
Students can sign up for free lunch and free advice here.