Careers and Hiring Topics of Two-Day Career Fair and Speaker Panel Event

“Talk to yourself in front of mirror to practice for a job interview. Research online for possible questions you might have to answer, says Jeff Miller, Operations Division Leader, Consumer and Community Banking Talent Leads, JP Morgan Chase. He also suggests recording yourself on your cell phone.

Ahren Duke, former business executive and current NVC Adjunct Professor in the Customer Service/Sales Operations Program, advises knowing what’s on your resume and being able to fill in details. “You should also do research online about the company with whom you are interviewing and the position.”

Both Miller and Duke were participants in a two-day Career Fair and Speaker Panel event held recently in Pecan Hall. Collaborating on the event were the NVC Business Council and the Business and Entrepreneurship Institute. Career fair sessions and panel presentations were provided to accommodate students in both day and evening classes.

In a discussion on the topic “Getting Ready for the Job Market: What’s Unique About You”, panelists addressed two groups of students during the daytime session and for the first time offered the career fair and panel discussions for students in evening classes.

Participants on the first day’s panel included Carolyn Sartori, vice president, GM Financial; Miller; Duke; and Ryan Robertson, assistant vice president, GM Financial. Career Fair employers represented included Chase, Nationwide, GM Financial, BBVA Compass, College Nannies, Sitters and Tutors and Courtyard by Marriott SeaWorld Westover Hills. All employers are members of the NVC Business Council.

One of the most important secrets to success is getting connected, panelists agreed. When questioned about navigating the hurdle of “having no experience”, one panelist noted that her company doesn’t necessarily look for people with experience.

“We’re looking for people with a positive attitude and who are coachable,” Ms. Sartori said.

More than 125 students attended the first day’s presentations and career fair.

The speaker panel topic for the second day of the event was “Applying, Interviewing and Preparing for Your First Day on the Job”. Panelists included Sartori; Kevin San Miguel, Customer Service Supervisor, Personal Lines Service Center, Nationwide; Shelah Simmons, Ph.D., CEO, Genesis Professional Solutions; and Steve Johnson, owner, College Nannies, Sitters and Tutors.

Participants described their experiences in good and bad job interviews and emphasized that interviewees should dress appropriately for the interview. “Don’t come into our office looking like it’s Friday night and you’re going out,” says Johnson.

And, panelists recommended bringing a copy of your resume to the interview. “Resumes should be customized for the job for which you are applying. And include leadership experience, part-time jobs,” says Johnson.

Other suggestions by panelists included identifying a mentor, getting an internship, being careful about what you post on Facebook and pursuing appropriate certifications.

When students asked about how to get a promotion, Sartori advised that “if you want the next promotion, you have to be working for it long before it becomes available.”

NVC Faculty Members Ralph Mendez and Calvin Fogle helped organize the event and moderate the panel discussions. Both thanked panelists for sharing their information and experiences. “It’s really important for students to hear from someone other than their instructors.”

Speaker panels and presentations such as these are a special project of the NVC Business Council, a membership organization which actively seeks partnerships and collaborations with businesses and their leadership for NVC and  its students.

Contributed by Lynne T. Dean, Director of Institutional Advancement at NVC.

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