Business Week helps students to fine-tune networking skills

Published by adviser, Author: Courtney Tietje - Rocket Contributor, Date: April 5, 2012
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The School of Business Week flyer displays a picture of a long black road, with a sign that boldly declares that success is up ahead.

The Business Week event is put on by Slippery Rock University’s School of Business. It began on March 29 and extended through April 6, allowing the opportunity for SRU students to fine-tune their inner businessman or woman and take measures to become more fine-tuned in professionalism.

From Monday through Friday, students were given the opportunity to interact with business professionals from the community.

Students participated in everything from “Resumania,” an opportunity for them to have their resumes read and reviewed by a professional, to a Mocktail Reception, which allowed them to practice their networking skills, to Mock Interviews.

Assistant Professor in the School of Business Dr. Dianne Galbraith described just one of the many benefits that students can reap from participating in Business Week.

“The opportunity to network and to gain some viable information to take back and alter their resumes accordingly has been very valuable,” Galbraith said.

Besides receiving resume help and professional experience and advice, students could also win prizes, according to Dr. John Buttermore, who is also an assistant professor in the School of Business.

“Several of these things have prize money,” Dr. Buttermore said. “We have prize money on the Mock Interview, we have prize money on the Mocktail Reception, and there’s a thousand dollar prize on the Rock the Boat [Business] Pitch Competition, so there are other incentives, too.”

Galbraith emphasized the changes that have occurred in expectations between prospective employees and employers over the past couple of years.

“I think there’s a lot more change in the whole hiring process, from attraction to retention, competition has become a lot more [global], and I think technology has assisted that not only in social networking but just the manner in which everything is screened prematurely,” Galbraith said.

Galbraith said she also sees the difficulties of finding a job in the twenty-first century.

“I think there’s also an understanding that we’re trying to prepare students for jobs that don’t exist yet and that there’s a difficulty [in finding a job], so we’re working on more of the confidence than the specific positions that they’re going to be filling,” Galbraith said. “Those positions are dynamic; they continue to change.”

Senior marketing major and student coordinator for the event Chelsea Nugent, 22, has also observed the difficulties of trying to find a job after college.

“It’s hard to get a job out of college,” Nugent said. “I’m not going to lie. The search sucks. It’s long. It’s a part-time job. No one wants to do it. You just want to be handed that career but it’s not going to happen. So it’s who you know, what you know, things like that. Who you know gets you in, what you know keeps you.”

According to Nugent, that’s why it is so important that students seek to become professionals and use the tools provided to them in order to better themselves for their future career.

“Being a professional means that you can hold yourself high and you’re confident in yourself and don’t trade yourself off as what other people view you as,” Nugent said.

And, if nothing else, students can expect a wakeup call, according to Buttermore.

“What I think students get out of [Business Week] is kind of a glimpse of the real world,” Buttermore said. “It’s kind of a grounding. If nothing else, it may shock them a little bit into how well-prepared or how not prepared they are.”

As for the road to success, Nugent said success is far from being out of reach.

“Anyone can be a successful professional,” she said.

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