When choosing a college, Becky Carlisle Doyle said it is important to consider the career networking opportunities that an institution offers.
“If you know what you will be doing after college, consider the network you can build in college that will benefit your future career,” said Carlisle Doyle, an agricultural communications graduate.
She found value in attending a university that provides students with knowledge, in addition to vital networking opportunities.
“The knowledge I gained from the University of Illinois jumpstarted my career, but the contacts I developed have been even more beneficial to me,” she said.
She participated in Ag Council, Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, Hoof ‘n Horn, and 4-H House. She also wrote for the Student News and Information Bureau’s student-run newsletter, worked in the photo lab and produced radio tapes.
“Every day I interacted with smart, forward-thinking, energetic people, including my professors, students, friends and mentors,” she said.
She also developed many important skills through her course work and extracurricular activities.
“My communication skills, especially my writing and presentation skills, were honed. I learned the basics of fiscal, project and personnel management,” she said. “My U of I degrees gave me a skill set that facilitated my career path.”
Today Carlisle Doyle is responsible for project management as a senior consultant for The Context Network. She and her husband, Ken, a U of I animal sciences graduate, are also partners of Oak Grove Pork Farm near Gillespie. She provides strategic direction and manages regulatory compliance.
“To excel, students need to fulfill their responsibilities and add value to their client’s efforts. They need to solve problems effectively and efficiently,” she said. “They must develop interpersonal and external communications skills and they must surround themselves with smart people and challenging ideas. The U of I is the perfect place to do that.”