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Auburn University program gets young professionals in conversation with established executives


Auburn University is giving new hires an opportunity to network with upper-level administrators.

Auburn’s Young Professionals program, or AUYP, is hosting its first multi-speaker discussion panel at the Academic Classroom and Laboratory Complex building at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 30th.The panel is free for anyone to attend.

There, young professionals have an opportunity to ask genuine and raw questions to three panelists about their career, how they achieve success and what helped them get to where they are now.

Alycia Baggett is a project manager for Auburn’s Office of Information Technology. She said the three panelists were selected by AUYP’s board because of their time at Auburn University.

“We came up with these three [speakers] specifically because they all three have had very long successful careers at Auburn,” she said. “It’s very much a trend for people to be able to climb up the ladder by jumping around different institutions or changing where you work. But these three have done this without leaving Auburn University.”

The three panelists include Mike Clardy, Amanda Malone and Corey Edwards. Clardy is the Director of Communications for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, which provides educational outreach to youth across the state. Malone is the director of budget and human resources in Auburn’s Provost Office. And Edwards is the assistant to the Senior Vice President of Student Affairs.

AUYP began in 2019 with the goal of fostering collaboration between departments on campus. Baggett said effective communication among young and seasoned professionals is often difficult at traditional colleges.

“Sometimes it can be hard to collaborate between those lines or even know what someone’s doing on the other side of a wall,” she said. “So, this program specifically is looking at breaking down some of those barriers and creating more collaboration across campus, whether that be with young professionals or with the leaders.”

Baggett said this panel is also an opportunity for all professionals to foster new connections.

“Every single speaker so far has pretty much reached out afterwards and talked about how much it has impacted them to be able to better understand that community and better understand how they can serve that community, how they can utilize it,” she said. “Very often there are mentor and mentee relationships that come out of it. That’s a mutually beneficial relationship, in my opinion.”

While this is not the first Q&A discussion AUYP has held, it is the first panel since AUYP’s expansion into an employee resource group. With this formalization, AUYP hopes for many more presentations and panels to come.

Baggett recommends any college or university give these employee networking opportunities a shot.

“Most college towns are focused on the students and maybe [adults] later in life,” she said. “There’s a large gap between those 23 and 40 where there’s not a lot to offer for them. We’re not a target audience. We’re not a focus. I would encourage anybody who is interested in something like this, don’t hesitate. If you’ve got sponsorship from any kind of leadership, set it up. It’s relatively easy.”

More information about the panel can be found on Auburn’s Office of Professional and Continuing Education website at

Joshua LeBerte is a news intern for Alabama Public Radio.
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