Adorned in business attire and armed with updated resumes and talking points, more than 400 students from the College of Engineering and Technology and the College of Business jammed the University’s Murphy Center Thursday, Feb. 9. to network with potential employees and possible references.
The College of Engineering and Technology’s eighth Annual Career Networking Day brought these students together with approximately 150 representatives from 55 statewide companies. Representatives greeted students with company information and business cards. Sidebar conversations, networking tips, and new relationships were the order of things once the event started at 1 p.m.
“The goal of this event, which was the most attended one to date, was not about finding jobs. It was more of a networking event so students can learn how to communicate and sell themselves to potential employers,” said Dr. Leslie Pagliari, associate dean of the College of Engineering and Technology. “We wanted to make sure they were prepared for next month’s spring Career Fair.”
And prepared they were.
Sarika Merchant, a junior with the College of Engineering and Technology, made sure her resume was up-to-date and reviewed talking scripts before the event. She also took it upon herself to learn a little about the companies who were in attendance. The benefit from doing this one step, she believes, is strong.
“If you go up to them and say I know about your company and this is what you do, it shows that you have done the research and that you are actually interested,” said Merchant.
To those students who did not attend the annual Career Networking Day, Senior Magus Pereira says they are missing out, “on making the network connections with recruiters. Even if they don’t get the opportunity, they could have gotten their names across to the recruiters and what they’re working on.”
It’s Good for the Employers, Too
Students were not the only ones who benefited from this networking event. Employers got a chance to learn more about what graduates from both colleges can potentially bring to their organizations.
“These events are ideal because, as an alumni, I get to give back to the students and the faculty,” said Mark Bray, supply chain director with ACR Supply Company. “As an employer, we have the opportunity to hire interns…and sometimes we get to hire them after the internship. It’s (the event) been a great resource for the company.”
This event was the first one that Tammy Wilkins of Vidant Health had attended. She was excited to be there because she knew the event would give Vidant Heath an opportunity to, “network and build relationships with students and help them learn about the initiatives and services that Vidant provides.”
Organizers and exhibitors at the event said they were not only encouraged by the quality of senior and junior level students that participated, but they were also excited to see sophomores attend and understand the importance of networking events such as this one.
-by Michael Rudd, College of Engineering & Technology