January 29, 2017 at 4:00 pm

Don’t Miss the First-Ever College of Arts & Sciences Career and Networking Week

College of Arts & Sciences Career & Networking Week, Jan. 30 to FEb. 3, 2017, Work It! Build Your Bobcat Network. Jumpstart Your Career. With photo of Rufus holding "Free Business Cards" sign.

By Patrick Fahey

The College of Arts & Sciences hosts a Career & Networking Week, Jan. 30 to Feb. 3, and it is shaping up to be a unique networking experience that is tailored specifically to us—the students of Arts and Sciences.

The events will incorporate all 19 departments in the college, including all the diverse humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

In the past, I haven’t paid much attention to career events because I wasn’t sure they applied to me as an Anthropology major. This Career and Networking Week, however, was designed with students like me in mind to opens doors for students who may feel they have a hard time making connections in the professional world. It’s aimed to help us find ways to showcase our experiences and to articulate to companies or organizations about what makes us unique with our liberal arts education.

Director of External Relations for the College of Arts & Sciences Lisa Cohen and Assistant Director for the Career and Leadership Development Center Kacey Schaum, the developers of this innovative week, hope students will find new ways to use their liberal arts education to advance their future.

“We created this career and networking week to help alumni who are so inclined to come together with faculty and students,” Cohen said. “We hope to engage alumni in meaningful ways, creating a win-win experience for both students and alumni.”

The week begins Monday, Jan. 30, with a discussion on how to turn an Arts & Sciences degrees into an amazing career, followed by a workshop on maximizing a LinkedIn account. This workshop comes at an ideal time, as LinkedIn has just rolled out a new user interface that some users may need help acclimating to. Tuesday, Jan. 31, offers walk-in resume reviews at the CLDC, and a workshop on how to use Bobcat CareerLink, a system that takes advantage of the pride we have in our community by allowing alumni to recruit fellow Bobcats for jobs. On Wednesday, Feb. 1, students can get individualized career coaching and attend a panel on finding internships conducted by fellow students.

The week continues with the Alumni & Student Networking Reception: The Art & Science of Networking, held in Baker Ballroom B on Thursday, Feb. 2, where students will have opportunities to meet with alumni.  Over 200 students across the college have already RSVPed to the event, and we will receive complementary business cards to practice networking with the alumni in a safe and encouraging environment. Don’t worry if you missed the deadline to RSVP, though, as walk-ins are encouraged, and blank business cards will be provided for anyone who needs them. In addition, cards with tips for networking will be passed out to take some pressure off and brief us on some tricks to making the most of the networking experience.

While I’m not actively seeking employment or internships just yet, this experience will be a great opportunity to create allies in the professional world. We are all bound to find some common ground with an alumnus, even if in some unexpected ways. While not every alumnus may be involved in the fields I’m interested in learning more about, they have connections with other who may. Creating a relationship with them could pay off years down the road, and a conversation may open door to the diverse contacts that the alumni have.

Also on Thursday, Feb. 2, and the following day, Friday, Feb. 3, alumni will hold panels. These panels are organized based on the disciplines they work and show the vast variety of jobs available in each field.

There is also a salary negotiation workshop, which will help us break down the awkward conversation of negotiating a salary and give us key information about how to conduct them. Mock interviews will be offered as well.

There is something for every student during the A&S Career and Networking Week. Whether you’re an undecided freshman looking for a major or a senior with a career already lined up, skills can be learned and connections can be made that will help for decades to come. Alumni have been in our position and understand the struggle of beginning to network, so starting with them will be less stressful and can encourage us to begin networking for our future.

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