CU Denver alumni share their tips


The path a student chooses to take after graduation depends on the individual. While many students go straight into graduate school, while others take time off, work, or travel. What matters most is how time is spent during students’ time at CU Denver.

CU Denver has more than 85,000 graduates—some are notable regulars to the press, like Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Heather Lafferty, CEO of Habitat for Humanity in the Metro Denver Area. Most former attendees have something in common: they have made the most of their time since their days on Auraria Campus.

Mario Vaiana, a 2011 CU Denver alum with a business degree took the plunge by moving to New York without a job. After landing an advertising gig for an agency in New York, Vaiana ended up moving back to Denver. After several years working for different agencies, he landed his current job as a market development account executive for Comcast.

During his time at CU Denver, Vaiana worked part-time and interned for several organizations to gain experience and stay ahead of his competition.

“I personally think that was very beneficial,” Vaiana said. “Having that experience is a huge advantage. When I look back now, I think about sitting in my classes wondering, ‘When am I ever going to use this, how is this relevant?’ but a lot of the marketing tactics I use today were taught to me when I was a student.”

Like many current students, Vaiana took advantage of the Career Center to help shape his resume and cover letter. He credits CU Denver for keeping up with the constant updates, which could help so many other students getting ready to graduate and start their careers.

Eugene D. Howard, Associate City Planner for The City and County of Denver had a wonderful experience while attending CU Denver.

“The college did a really good job of bringing in outside resources,” Howard said. “Having that exposure to working professionals was really important.”

Although he graduated from CU Denver in 2013 with an MBA, he still runs into his classmates and works with 10 other CU Denver alumni.

“Be the best peer you can be,” Howard said. “I found that many of the people I had classes with who were responsible and respectful are the people I’m working with today. We had a strong work ethic in school and we know we can count on one another.”

Howard found that working with his peers and networking proved to be the most beneficial part of his college experience, and believes that great success in the classroom equals great success in the professional world.

Dilkush Khan
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