On a crisp October morning, more than 400 students and employers participated in the School of Business’ Second Annual Business Career Expo. The event, which was designed to complement the successful career fairs hosted by the UConn Center for Career Development, featured a multi-dimensional format designed to enhance personal connections between students and those employers who specifically seek School of Business undergraduate and MBA students.
Students were advised to come to the Business Career Expo prepared to talk about their personal passions such as sports, clubs, hobbies, musical interests, community service, and unique pursuits. Employers were invited to tell stories reflecting their company culture including team sports, community service initiatives, and distinctive company activities or efforts. Students were encouraged to understand the differentiators between companies and in return to highlight the differentiators between themselves and other business students.
In their introductory remarks, the School of Business Career Center (SBCC) team encouraged the crowd to think beyond traditional career fair conversations. “Our students are more than their GPAs, and our corporate partners have more to offer than job postings; we invite you all to find those compelling reasons for connecting here today,” announced Kathy Hendrickson, assistant director of the Undergraduate Business Career Center.
In order to encourage this unique dialogue and to highlight personal passions and talents beyond academics, the event was opened with a performance of the national anthem by the Conn-Men. The Conn-Men is a student a cappella group who performed at the inauguration of UConn President Susan Herbst, and has also recently won the UConn A Cappella Competition. Their inspiring performance launched the morning discussions in a manner which brought immediate energy into the room and the conversations. Employers Jodi Culberston, Northwestern Mutual, and Sean O’Connell ’83 (CLAS), ’92 MBA, GE, were just two of the participants who expressed enthusiasm and appreciation for the unique introduction to the day and the manner in which it immediately facilitated conversations with students.
The full agenda included an open forum in the Student Union Ballroom and 18 concurrent individual employer sessions. The event culminated at 1:30 p.m., when the Conn-Men returned for a half-hour performance for all students, employers, faculty, and staff of the School of Business who participated in the event. Meg Warren, assistant director of the MBA Business Career Center, concludes, “In terms of connecting students and employers in a personal way, the day was a resounding success!”