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Students and alumni are getting LinkedIn to Marquette’s eMentor Network

By April Beane
Photo by Nathan Mandell

Kathleen Dunne Balducci, Comm ’03, (left) connected with Katie Simoncic, Comm ’12, (right) on Marquette's eMentor Network and helped her land a job in event planning.

Sometimes all a recent grad needs to land a job is an introduction.

That was the case for Katie Simoncic, Comm ’12. She listened when her professors preached the importance of connections and networking. So, when Marquette launched its CIRCLES eMentor Network (part of the Alumni Association’s LinkedIn group) in July 2011, she didn’t hesitate to jump on board.

“It’s stressful graduating and not knowing what you’re going to do,” Simoncic says. The e-Mentor network provided her with a place to reach out to alumni — to ask them for career advice.

“I don’t remember my exact post, but a couple alums posted back. Kathleen’s really stood out to me,” Simoncic says, referring to Kathleen Dunne Balducci, Comm ’03, an administrator for dean’s operations in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago.

“I saw Katie had posted that she wanted to do something in event planning … Because of my role in the dean’s office, I was aware of some positions that were opening shortly,” Balducci says. “So, I reached out to Katie … and asked her to send me her resume so I could keep it on file.”

 “I really didn’t think much about it because I was sending out a lot of resumes,” Simoncic says.

 A month later, Balducci called her to set-up an interview. That job didn’t pan out but the next interview at Northwestern University did. Today, Balducci and Simoncic work in the same building three floors apart and meet on occasion for a cup of coffee to catch-up.

The network provides Balducci with an opportunity to give back to Marquette. “It shows just by reaching out you can make some great connections,” she says.

Connections to alums like Chris Pardon, Comm ’92. He is senior director of CNN’s Strategic Integration Group for Turner Broadcasting based out of New York City. Pardon says he “will talk with anyone who reaches out.” Not a bad contact to have for students, recent grads or alums looking for relocating tips, connections, career- change advice or tips on landing an entry-level job in the Big Apple.

“This is a great resource and one I wished I had when I was in school,” Pardon says.

There are more than 300 members in the eMentor Network — 50 percent of them live outside of the Milwaukee area. They cover a wide range of careers and skill levels from just out of college to vice president.

As a recent grad, Simoncic may not have seasoned advice to give, but she is ready to do her part.

“I will encourage others to post,” she says. “It’s something I can do as a young alum. I posted and look what happened.”

For more information on the eMentor network or to become a member, visit


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