GAMP’s Gramp Helps New Generation.
Jim Day (’65) may have graduated from Gonzaga with a degree in accounting, but don’t label him as the proverbial bean counter. Day has spent the better part of his professional life giving back to Gonzaga and hundreds of alumni by spearheading the Gonzaga Alumni Mentor Program – also known as GAMP –nearly 20 years ago.
GAMP matches Gonzaga students and graduates with mentors who share similar career fields, geographic locations or other interests. The goal is to create relationships that promote networking and better decision-making that can result in increased job opportunities.
“We grew from 10 volunteers in 1993 to 250 by 1995,” said Day, who is also a GU Regent. “Our first GAMP chapter was in Seattle, and then we expanded to Spokane and Portland in 1994-95. Today we have more than 2,500 alumni mentors and we’ve helped thousands of GU alums find jobs.”
In 2011, the Seattle Trek, an employment networking event, celebrates its 10th anniversary. Day credits GU alumnus Sean Thompson (’89) for his role in starting the Seattle Trek. “Sean earned his M.B.A. at Harvard and brought the Trek idea to us from his experience as a Harvard alumnus.”
Day’s involvement in the Seattle Trek ranges from coaching students at events to leading and participating in a career development training program. He also works with students in Gonzaga’s School of Law. And to this Day (pun intended), he mentors Gonzaga students and alumni, estimating that he’s helped more than 700 Zags find jobs.
“My message to students is this: ‘There are more jobs for people like you, than people like you,’ ” he said. “When you graduate from Gonzaga, you are in the upper two percent of the world in terms of qualifications. The issue isn’t whether there is a need for you in the marketplace; the issue is to know what you want, then go out to find or create it. Networking is the best way to find a job, and your Gonzaga network is filled with golden opportunities.”
Day feels more than repaid for his efforts. “I have been a matchmaker, invited to weddings and christenings,” he said. “Life is richer when you extend your help to someone who is in the vulnerable position of looking for a job.”