Happening Hour presents a new way to network

On Wednesday, March 4, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Loft, Molly Galler ’06 will speak at a new event series called Happening Hour on the topic “Is There a Graduation Emoji?” The Alumnae/i Relations Office is hosting this appropriately named event, as its name is a play on the words “Happy Hour.” Food and drinks will be provided with “Happening” being the discussion topic focused on current events and emerging trends.

Galler, a double major in Sociology and Hispanic Studies while at Wheaton, found her passion working in communications. She has managed public relations and social media campaigns for a variety of clients and is actively involved with the college as the Director of Communications for the Alumnae/i Board as well as a volunteer for the Wheaton Fund’s Annual Giving Committee.

This event will be set up like a TED Talk where Galler will speak and then open up the floor for discussion. She stated that her talk will focus on “The changes in technology over the past decade that have altered the Wheaton College experience on campus as well as the job search process.”

“I hope students, faculty and staff will join the Happening Hour and engage in a conversation about the real way technology and social media are impacting our relationships,” she said. “I’m also excited to hear how technology is making the student experience more connected and efficient. I’m hopeful that any students who are interested in a career in marketing or communications will attend so we can connect and discuss internship and job opportunities.”

This event is the brainchild of Coordinator for Alumni Relations Hillary Shusterman ’14, who wanted a laid-back alternative to the “typical suit and tie networking event.” She stated that in order to achieve this, the event will be held in the Loft where one drink (for 21+ students) and a food tab will be provided for a “causal, bar-like feel.”

The choice for alumni speakers was obvious, said Shusterman, as Galler “has really put her name out there and is one of our most successful alums. She had worked with us on the Alumni Board of Directors and immediately jumped on board [for this event].” Shusterman added, “In the future, we are hoping that per semester we can partner with a student or affinity group on campus and bring in multiple alums to join in on the conversation.”

This event has already proved to be popular, with 35 people having responded to the posters and emails about this event. Shusterman said that as this event is in its beginning stages, the cap will be 40 students; this number and the location could change in the future. Those who responded are said to be from every class with mostly seniors and freshmen. There are also students with a variety of majors attending, but this talk would be particularly pertinent to those interested in film and new media studies.

For Shusterman who graduated this past May, working in Alumnae/i Relations allows her to engage with students and alumni to plan creative events. She said, “I love it when you work hard and put effort into a project and you see it blossom. You feel proud and this job is very fulfilling [in that way].” She added, “This event will tell me whether I’m doing a good job.”