Recent graduates learn life skills from USF

The USF Alumni Association is offering workshops for recent graduates to give them advice on salary negotiations and help them evaluate job offers.

The first workshop, which was held Wednesday, addressed personal finances while the second, to be held Oct. 15, concerns evaluating job offers and negotiating a salary.

Amber Marcellino, the assistant director of student and young alumni relations, said the workshops were prompted by a March 2002 survey.

“We did a survey, and some of the information that came back in that said that our young alumni are interested in some practical skills,” she said.

Marcellino said even though USF graduates leave with academic knowledge, they often need help in areas where they have no experience.

“You’re sort of thrown out. You graduate, and you’re all excited because you’re done with all this academic stuff, and now you have to face all these real life things that you might not have had to deal with before,” she said.

Lisa Lewis, executive director of the Alumni Association, said the workshops were “a second chance” for many students.

“One of the moments came in talking to a number of young alumni and realizing that all the resources that students have on campus — the Career Center and all the different programs that are available to them for free when they’re here,” Lewis said. “Often (they are) busy studying and … doing all kinds of other things trying to get out of here (that) they don’t capitalize on everything that’s available to them while they’re here.

“We figured out there was a kind of niche market in trying to provide some of these services to our young alumni that they can recognize what they need, and they can’t get from the institution because they’re no longer in their student status.”

The workshop that was held Wednesday was called “Managing Your Personal Finances.” According to AlumNews, the electronic newsletter for the Alumni Association, the workshop discussed “the basics of credit and debt management, retirement planning and investing.”

Perry Hubbs II, who is a certified financial planner in the local area and an instructor at USF, conducted the workshop.

Marcellino said she wanted to get reliable instructors for these workshops, so she turned to the USF Continuing Education department.

“That’s where I went first for a source for instructors because they’re knowledgeable in their subject areas and they’re accustomed to doing workshops, creating workshops and also not to conduct it commercially for their own personal interests,” Marcellino said.

“The second one I think we’re going to have a good response for–‘Evaluating a Job Offer, Negotiating a Salary’–because that makes people very nervous sometimes,” she said.

The cost of the workshop is $10 for members of the Alumni Association and $15 for non-members. Alumni and recent graduates can register at