By Talia Bank ’23

With a mission of connecting students and alumni with opportunities to explore and advance their career interests, the Alumni Board’s Career Connections working group offers alumni panel discussions, an internship database, and career-oriented clubs. Now the group is developing a collection of advice from alumni aimed at recent graduates.

Diane Saber ’78, who has chaired the working group for the past year, leads this new project. Her trailblazing career as an environmental microbiologist has taken her around the world and paved the way for new milestones in renewable energy. Saber got her start as a biology and geology double major at Macalester, later earning a MBA and a PhD in microbiology. She traces many formative experiences to her time at Macalester, from studying abroad in London and Florence to learning the value of nurturing her artistic side, along with her deep love of science. We spoke with Saber about the group’s goals and how recent graduates can benefit from their work.


“People sometimes think about Career Connections in terms of hiring other Mac people for jobs where they work. But that’s only one part of it. You have to establish yourself within a corporation before you can bring in your cohort, so that approach can be limiting. Your first couple of years post-graduation are supposed to be a foray into the unknown. You have to explore yourself as well as the job universe before you come to terms with what you are going to do next. We think our working group can be helpful in navigating those uncertainties.”

In the Works

“We’re creating a document of advice for students who are one to ten years out. We’ve cast a really wide net, asking for perspectives from all classes, whether you’re out a year or sixty. The advice that comes back—it’s so good. Some of it has to do with a specific career, some of it is just the nuts and bolts of getting a job. My slant was more on understanding your ‘why.’ The expression goes, ‘People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.’ Finding out your personal ‘why’ is your own journey. That is where you find the connections to what you do in your life.”

April 28 2023

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