Attorney Alison Helland, a Madison native who sits on the Magnet Board of Directors, is committed to attracting and retaining young professionals in the Madison area. After receiving her undergraduate degree from UW-Madison, Alison attended law school at the University of Iowa, and received her Masters in Tax Law from Northwestern University. She then lived a variety of places (including India!) before returning to Madison.
Although Alison grew up in Madison, she had difficulty finding professional networking opportunities upon her return. This absence of professional contacts and networks inspired her to become involved in Magnet, and to help others who seek professional development and mentorship further their careers. “Magnet stands out by empowering young professionals through a variety of programming. In addition to providing social activities, Magnet also provides professional development and community engagement opportunities. Given the range of activities and resources available, each member can tailor their involvement in Magnet to their specific needs and interests. Some people have recently relocated to Madison, and seek purely social opportunities, while others have a network in place and are looking for resources and programming to advance in their careers.” Alison’s role on Magnet’s board is currently focused on finding ways to keep Magnet’s alumni engaged with the organization, and expand Magnet’s programming to provide resources to professionals who no longer see themselves as “young professionals.” “In my experience, and the experience of a lot of my peers, there do not seem to be many resources available for people who feel that they are no longer ‘young professionals,’ but still need mentoring and resources to achieve their career aspirations. Magnet is well-positioned to respond to this need by expanding their programming to include this group of professionals. Doing so will in turn provide additional mentoring opportunities for younger professionals within Magnet, who want access to mentoring from professionals 5-10 years ahead of them.”
Outside of work, Alison volunteers her time in a number of ways. Fluent in English and Spanish, she has found ways to serve the Latino community by joining the Latino Chamber of Commerce, occasionally teaching Spanish-language legal and tax related courses for the organization, and appearing on its monthly radio show on La Movida. She also volunteers her time to Legal Action of Wisconsin’s Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, and frequently participates as a mentor in Doyenne’s member retreats.