The Graduate Programs Career Management team will be holding monthly one-hour long CareerForward Hour events that are essentially “mini info sessions for career services-related topics designed to update students on things like the mentor program, managing their online brand, attending career fairs, etc.”
I had the opportunity to participate in the first CareerForward Hour event last Thursday as a “new alumni” (ok, so I am not a new alumni yet, but I will be in just three months). The goal of the first event was to “introduce students to Career Management Resources and recent alumni who can share how they maximized their career development by engaging in SBA events and career services resources.”
What I really liked about participating as an “alumni” panelist at this event is that it wasn’t the typical event where panel participants sat up front in a row and event attendees asked panelist questions with a moderator. This event made it more intimate and personal by having groups of about 8-10 students sit at stations with one panelist for a 10-minute “speed networking session.” Once the 10-minute session was over, the panelists moved to the next station to talk with another group of students. Following the formal 10-minute speed networking sessions we all had 15 more minutes of informal networking time over salad, pizza, cookies and lemonade.
For a first-time CareerForward Hour event I would say it was quite successful. There was a turnout of approximately 25 students or so. Although the event was mainly geared toward new incoming students, there were at least 10 students present who were one-to-two years into their studies. The majority of students were in the MBA program, with a handful of MSFA and one token MIM participant other than myself. In addition, there were quite a good number of international students from India, Japan, China, and one panelist who was from Iran.
What could one expect to get out of participating in an event like this?
- Major networking with Career Management staff, Grad Business Administration including Scott Marshall the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research, and the alumni panelists.
- Meeting alumni panelists: an MBA alumni who works at Hitachi and has her own website-based fashion business, an MSFA alumni who is working his dream job at Nike in finance, and a soon-to-be MIM alumni with connections to the medical and non-profit areas.
- You can expand your student network by 25 – I passed out my business card to everyone once I was done at each speed networking station and encouraged students to contact me as I am always happy to help and answer questions.
- Networking opportunities for your significant other! The MSFA panelist who works at Nike told me how his wife wants to increase her networking circle with medical professionals as she is a doctor by profession and eventually wants to work in pediatrics or psychiatry. I told him to come to the upcoming CardioStart International fundraiser on Friday, September 9th and I would introduce his wife to a pediatric heart surgeon (the CardioStart International founder), a pediatric ICU intensivist who will be at the event, as well as a ton of pediatric nurses! (In return, of course I will ask him to meet with any of my friends who are interested in jobs at Nike or jobs in finance!)
- Continued networking opportunities! One student who is going to start the MBA in Healthcare Management program contacted me the very next day. She took me up on the offer to attend the CardioStart fundraiser this Friday to network with medical professionals and grad students – I will happily take her around and introduce her to everyone. She is planning to work FT and go to grad school PT, which is exactly what I did when I started the MIM program two years ago. She and I will meet for dinner the following week so she can learn more about my journey as a nurse going to business school and “figure out what she got herself into” (but as I told the group last Thursday, I have loved every minute of grad school).
- The tips and hints from students in different programs who have gotten internships, student jobs through the graduate program (professor assistant and student ambassador positions), mentors both through the SBA and on their own, jobs while they were in school, dream jobs, and learn about the “secret” benefits that are not obvious when you take advantage of opportunities.
- Learn about ways to maximize a career transition, build your resume, how to balance work and school (or at least what to expect, even if there isn’t much flexibility to have balance), what one discusses with mentors and how are they helpful, why one would chose to go to school part time vs. full time, what comes of all this “networking” anyway?
Newbie MIM, this is how networking works! It’s like a domino effect… I encourage you to participate in networking events throughout your 15-27 months in the MIM program! Stay in touch with Pam Dusschee firstname.lastname@example.org or Jodi Smith email@example.com, your PSU Graduate Business Career Management Team!