Candid advice flowed freely at the Stu­dent Alumni Asso­ci­a­tion’s first 5 Under 25 event of the year, in which recent grad­u­ates answered ques­tions posed by cur­rent students.

Last Thursday evening’s event in the Alumni Center fea­tured five grad­u­ates of the newly renamed D’Amore-McKim School of Busi­ness, all of whom stressed the impor­tance of taking lead­er­ship roles and embracing co-​​op as an oppor­tu­nity to learn about future careers and develop a pow­erful per­sonal network.

One of the five grad­u­ates was Jason Morris, B’11, who now works as a cor­po­rate com­pli­ance asso­ciate at Biogen Idec. After switching majors from com­puter sci­ence to busi­ness, he con­sid­ered becoming a hote­lier, a goal that led him to take a co-​​op at an upscale Boston restaurant.

That co-​​op, how­ever, taught Morris that the ser­vice industry wasn’t for him.

I kept hearing, ‘If you hate it, it’s only six months,’” Morris said. “I thought it was just some­thing people said, but it’s def­i­nitely true. I prob­ably got more out of that co-​​op because it showed me what I didn’t want to do and that’s incred­ibly valuable.”

The hour-​​long panel dis­cus­sion also fea­tured School of Busi­ness alumni Jason Donovan, Kevin Holub, Jeremy Klein and Greg Skloot, all of whom grad­u­ated in 2012. Jil Rinne, the vice pres­i­dent of alumni rela­tions for the Stu­dent Alumni Asso­ci­a­tion, mod­er­ated the event.

Skloot, now the chief oper­ating officer of Boston-​​based mar­keting com­pany influencers@, stressed the impor­tance of taking lead­er­ship roles with stu­dent groups. He shared his expe­ri­ence run­ning the North­eastern Entre­pre­neurs Club.

So much of what I do now in a real busi­ness I did first in the e-​​club,” Skloot said. “I learned how to manage people, I learned how to get money, I learned how to run events. And I do all of that now every day run­ning a company.”

Donovan, whose co-​​op with EMC Corp. led him to a full-​​time job after grad­u­a­tion, said the rela­tion­ships forged through co-​​op are as impor­tant as the skills learned on the job.

Co-​​op is a six-​​month job inter­view,” Donovan said. “Every day you’re working with the man­agers and co-​​workers who will still be there when you come back looking for a job. And it’s amazing the dif­fer­ence a good co-​​op expe­ri­ence can make.”

The Stu­dent Alumni Asso­ci­a­tion is hosting 5 Under 25 events for the remainder of the aca­d­emic year. Grad­u­ates from the Bouvé Col­lege of Health Sci­ences will dis­cuss their expe­ri­ences on Oct. 18. For the full schedule please visit the event’s web­site.