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A Closer Look ... at Our Bee Connection

Jillian Joyce '18

No matter where you come from, when you become an Ambrosian, you are instantly connected.

Read about the connection below between First Year student Jillian Joyce and 2008 graduate Ashley Brown.

Jillian Joyce '18
Hometown: Chicago
Major: Management
Jillian chose St. Ambrose because she "loved the size of the school and how friendly everyone was. I came to visit, and it just felt like home; I knew it was the right choice for me."

Ashley Brown '08
Hometown: Wapello, Iowa
Majors: Management and Marketing
Ashley chose St. Ambrose because "during a campus visit I got a vibe like this was the place for me, where you're more than a number."

It was an assignment given to some of the incoming freshman in the Fall 2014 semester; use the BeeConnection program to learn more about a potential career in your field of study.  Jillian Joyce was one of those freshman, and she's thankful for the opportunity.

After reviewing the profiles in the BeeConnection, a mentoring program which pairs alumni with current SAU students, Jillian connected with Ashley Brown '08.  Ashley, armed with Marketing and Management degrees, is currently a stylist with  Her position oversees the process of getting all products and models into the studio for photo shoots so the items can be featured on the Von Maur website as fast as possible.  Ashley's degree provides her a unique opportunity to work in the fashion industry, one of her lifelong dreams, in a behind-the-scenes role.

"I chose Ashley because she held a management position at Von Maur. While I never thought about going into the fashion industry, I figured I could get some insight of management that would be from a different perspective than I would normally get."

The two women discussed the opportunities a degree in management can offer, personal goals, as well as Ashley's current position and her career experiences so far.

"The best advice she gave me was to find a job that you enjoying doing," Jillian remembered. "Talking to Ashley made me more confident [in my decision to pursue a management degree] because when I talk to people who work in the field, they all say how they started out just like me and worked their way up to be the successful people they are today.  Hearing that is very reassuring."

Both parties agreed the program was easy to use and is a definite benefit to current students.

"It's a great tool for students to communicate with alumni who've gone through the steps they themselves are going to go through," Ashley said. "I think it is good to take advantage of those resources that can benefit you."

Jillian added, "At first, I was unsure about the idea of emailing someone I didn't know at all, but I soon realized that the people have their contact information on the [BeeConnection] website for a reason. They want to help you and want to answer your questions."

If you are a student interested in learning more about your upcoming career path or an alumnus who wants to be a resource for current students, please contact Kim Matteson in the St. Ambrose Career Center at 563/333-6342 or