Career Development Center hosting networking panel and virtual career fair

With the semester now well under way, many SIUE seniors are looking to the future and exploring their career options. To aid in these students' search, the Career Development Center is hosting a networking workshop and several career fairs in upcoming weeks.

The networking workshop will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on Feb 22. Then, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 2-4, there will be an I.T. career fair, a spring career fair and an engineering career fair, respectively. Later in the month, a nursing career fair will be held 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on March 15 and an education career fair will be held from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on March 16. All events will be held virtually.

The deadline for students to register is 8 a.m. on the day of the networking workshop. To access the event, visit the Cougar Jobline website to login, and then go to “Events”.

The workshop will be held in a virtual lobby hosted by Elieen Martindale, a counselor for the Career Development Center who said the panel will have a multitude of networking experiences.  

“We’re going to have a couple people talking about networking and their personal experiences, and unfortunately our students won’t be able to practice [networking] this year, but they will be able to ask questions to our panelists,” Martindale said. 

The first half will be moderated by Martindale, during which she’ll ask the panelists questions to inform the students on networking; the second half will be for student questions. Martindale said anyone can develop networking skills. 

“Networking is such a great professional skill, but it also gives a lot of opportunities for students to expand their careers,” Martindale said. “Sometimes I think that students think networking is something for outgoing people, but really it’s for everyone and there's always opportunities for students to network both on campus and off campus. And also, students are always looking for ways to get in front of an employer, and so this is just an opportunity for them to have that experience.” 

Panelists for this event will be Teela Davis, the owner of T. Davis Event Management; Alan Kehrer, the immediate past president of the SIUE Alumni Association; Mallory McCune, a recruiter from Nestlé Purina; and Todd Burrell, the director of SIUE Undergraduate Admissions.

Burrell said he worked with the Career Development Center in the past and he was asked by the Career Development Center to speak at the workshop.

“Now within this virtual environment, they asked me to talk about networking, especially related to networking on campus, with various campus constituents [and] how that will help students out. For instance, talking with their advisers or faculty members who have so many connections within their own communities or within their respective areas of interest,” Burrell said.

The career fairs in March are all being managed by Carrie Smolar, assistant director of the Career Development Center. The career fairs will have multiple employers that will offer scholarships, career opportunities and networking with professionals. For each career fair, the deadline to register is an hour before the event begins.

Smolar said the fairs would be in a booth-style virtual format. In the booth, there will be logos of the employers that link to PDFs of career opportunities and information about the companies. Text chatting with the employers is available to answer students’ questions. 

Smolar said these career fairs can help students who are interested in the opportunities these employers can offer. 

“Any employer there [is] usually recruiting for internship or full-time opportunities, so any student that is looking for an internship or a full-time opportunity, this will be a great way for them to connect with employers and learn more about those opportunities and be able to apply for them live during the career fair,” Smolar said.

For more information about upcoming programming, visit the Events page on the Career Development Center's website.

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