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Alumni connection creates opportunity for new grad

Attending an alumni luncheon hosted by the College of Nursing in Charleston led to an exciting job opportunity for recent graduate Ashley Owens (’22 BSN). There she met Marissa Aldridge, Assistant Nurse Manager of Cardiology at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston. 

Staying connected 

“I graduated in May 2022 with a BSN and graduated with leadership distinction. On August 30, I attended an alumni outing in Charleston. As a new grad, I was searching for a job and thought the opportunity to work at a hospital that an employee speaks so highly about was somewhere I needed to apply,” says Owens. 

Marissa and Ashley stayed connected after the outing. Marissa became her mentor and helped her through the application process. 

Patience in the process 

On November 28, Owens had an interview for the Post-Baccalaureate Registered Nurse Residency (PBRNR) Program at the VA. She was accepted for the position and will begin working in February.

“My advice for undergrad students curious about post-grad life is to be open to different opportunities and not settle for the first opportunity presented. I also found it extremely important to form new connections with alums in your area,” says Owens.

Giving back as a mentor 

“The College of Nursing Alumni Council has been a unique way to strengthen my connection with USC. A simple luncheon with Ashley and other new grads ignited a passion for mentorship and career development. Ashley reminded me so much of myself at the beginning of my career. I reflected on my mentors along the way and how many of them are still close friends today,” says Aldridge.

Marissa and Ashley are a testament to why the personal connections that the Alumni Council fosters are imperative.

“We need these relationships in nursing! They have personally helped me navigate everything from patient loss to job applications. I look forward to the next local event,” says Aldridge.

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