Campus Community / People of SU

Career Builders

Written by Tina Potterf

April 8, 2021

SU alum Alan Yu, ’17, sitting outside Microsoft offices

Alan Yu, ’17

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Seattle University’s great location, in a city and region home to many of the world’s giants of industry—from aerospace to tech, e-commerce to health care—affords students boundless opportunities for professional growth with a path to a fulfilling career. For many it starts with networking, mentorship or internships that, in many cases, lead to a job offer.

Take Alan Yu, ’17, whose shift in majors, from bioengineering to computer science—coupled with an eye-opening internship—set him up for career success post-graduation.

Yu feels his experiences at Seattle U well prepared him for his current role at Microsoft as product manager at Azure Data.

“I took many humanities courses like philosophy, ethics, social justice and women studies,” he says. “Embracing diversity of opinions was one of the most important lessons I learned from Seattle University to help me be an empathetic product manager. When working on products that millions of customers use every day and collaborating with many engineering and product teams, it is crucial to be inclusive in meetings and in product design. Seattle University helps you build the soft skill set to flex that empathy by questioning assumptions and voicing opinions.” 

When Yu arrived at Seattle U he knew he needed an internship in order to gain experience in computer science. “I applied to 100 companies over five months. I ended up taking an internship at Weyerhaeuser as a software developer,” he says. “After my internship, I realized that as much as I liked problem solving and coding was fun, what I really valued was working with people and building a product vision.” 

Skill-building in the classroom and in the community, through service-learning opportunities, makes Seattle U students sought after by employers. Case in point: 97% of graduates are employed, enrolled in a full-time graduate program or engaged in post-graduate service within six months of graduation.

Hands-on experience with some of the region’s largest companies and organizations is at the core of the Project Center. Based out of the College of Science and Engineering, teams of Seattle U students act as consultants for an industry sponsor and engage in solving a real-world problem posed by that sponsor. There is no shortage of companies that turn to Seattle U for its best and brightest—past participants have included Amazon, PACCAR, T-Mobile, F5 Networks and Puget Sound Energy. Many of the seniors who team up on these projects are hired on with their partner company after graduation.

One of the available resources for students looking at internships and job openings is the Career Engagement Office, which provides several online resources, available 24/7, to help students in their career exploration. This includes experiential learning opportunities, job searches, interview preparation and connections with alumni and career professionals for mentoring.

Career mentorship can be pivotal in helping recent graduates launch their careers. The average salary of all graduates within 10 years of entering Seattle U is 36% higher, or $20,000 more, than the national average.

The Seattle University Redhawk Landing (RHL) platform, led by the Career Engagement Office in partnership with the Alumni Association, connects our newest graduates with more experienced alumni, helping to build mentorship relationships.

Redhawk Landing is a valuable tool in a number of ways: 

  • Connect with global network of Redhawk alumni
  • Find both short- and long-term mentors 
  • Seek professional advice from diverse industry professionals
  • Join affinity groups based on interests, geographic areas and involvement at Seattle U

With RHL, both mentors and mentees indicate the type of mentoring relationship they are interested in—from a short phone call to a longer-term engagement—and their specific interest areas to advance their professional journey. RHL suggests alumni to contact based on the answers and participants can search the full directory.

“As a recent graduate, I wish I had some type of program like this when I was in school to be able to reach out and build a network with alumni to be able to get mentorship,” says R.J. Realubit, ’17. “I think this is going to be a good thing for students.”

Read more about Alan Yu’s professional journey and other career success stories at www.seattleu.edu/presidents-report/career-outcomes/.  

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