Annual Networking Events Help Fund Scholarships

AU Building Science Golf Outing

Every professional knows that networking events are an important way to build relationships. McWhorter School of Building Science (BSCI) students, alumni and employers have several opportunities to network while raising scholarship funds for the school and at the same time have a little fun.

Atlanta Alumni BSCI Golf Benefit
Each spring, BSCI alumni who live and work in the Atlanta area organize a golf outing. The Atlanta Auburn Building Science Alumni Committee, originally called BSC Alumni Network, was formed in 1990 to establish a professional network of BSCI graduates in the Atlanta metro area. The Atlanta Alumni BSCI Golf Benefit raises money to support building science education at Auburn, including the funding of scholarships, facilities and an endowed faculty position. “They’re very involved and engaged in our program,” stated Angie White, BSCI’s Career Services Specialist. “The alumni work so hard to put this event together and their generosity is incredible.” There are a wide range of opportunities for companies to provide sponsorships, and each sponsor gets playing slots, mulligans and raffle tickets. The event includes lunch, dinner, snacks and drinks as well as plenty of contests and a raffle at the end of the day. Since its inception, the alumni committee has raised over half a million dollars for the program.

Logan Grant, an Assistant Superintendent at Turner Construction, has been serving on the planning committee since interning at Turner as an Auburn student. Grant says that teams are often made up of co-workers who attended Auburn together, and that lends itself to quite a bit of friendly competition as well as valuable networking. “There is definitely some stiff competition,” he said. “It is difficult not to get a little competitive out there. But my favorite part of the day is getting to meet and talk to all those that graduated before me. Being a very recent alum there are so many people to learn from and connect with.” As a first-generation college student, Grant is grateful for the guidance of the faculty members who helped him find a calling he loves. “My path to and through building science was a little non-traditional, but it made me into the person that I am today. I feel that it is only right for me to find a way to give back to the school and those that will come through it in the future.”

McWhorter School of Building Science Golf Outing
Each year, the IOTA Chapter of Sigma Lambda Chi (SLX) hosts an annual golf outing on the day before the fall career fair. This past year’s event was held on September 19 at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Grand National in Opelika. Many employers attending the fall semester career fair come into town a day early to play in the tournament. Participants golf all morning and then enjoy lunch and an awards ceremony in the afternoon. Often times, employers register a team of four but leave open spots for students, allowing companies to meet with potential employees. Sometimes employers include students they already know through internships and interviews, but other times they ask for random assignments, giving students a chance meeting with a potential employer. “A lot of students come in and are randomly assigned to a team with an employer,” stated White. “The companies get to know students in the program who they haven’t met before so it’s a good opportunity for both sides.”

SLX is a student organization that provides recognition to undergraduate and graduate building science students who meet high academic standards. Students are selected based on their unadjusted cumulative GPAs, allowing only the top 10% of professional program and graduate program students to be invited for candidacy. The proceeds from the golf event fund scholarships, personal protection equipment for students and SLX activities throughout the year. Generous Gold Level sponsors fund the planning of the event so that the proceeds can be used entirely for students. 

“This event fills up so quickly every year,” stated Associate Professor Keith Rahn, SLX’s faculty advisor. “Whether an employer personally invites students to play or we place them on teams randomly, it’s such a great opportunity for students and companies to do some networking while enjoying a little bit of fun competition.”

DBIA BSCI Clay Shoot
Auburn’s chapter of Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) also has an annual recreational event that allows for networking and scholarship funding. Now in its third year, the annual DBIA BSCI Clay Shoot funds scholarships for members of DBIA, a student-led organization that hosts events for architecture and building science students to collaborate and learn from one another. DBIA faculty advisor Alan Bugg, an avid clay shooter himself, noticed that many of his students enjoyed clay shooting, so he created the annual event to allow another opportunity for employers and students to network. The event is held each February at Auburn Oaks Farm in Notasulga, Alabama. Because it’s during the same week as the spring career fair, industry reps who are on campus for interviews can easily take a day to participate in the clay shoot. The clay shoot participants raised over $30,000 for endowed scholarships in just the first two years of the event. “We have such a great time at the clay shoot every year,” stated Bugg. “Our students and employers are out in the fresh air together for an entire day of friendly competition. We are so thankful for all the support we get from the construction industry to raise funds for scholarships for the next generation of construction professionals while we have a little fun.”

Related people:
Angie White, Keith Rahn