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What to Expect From Career Week 2016

What to Expect From Career Week 2016
By: Tim McManus, SOC Web Reporter

The annual Career Week for the School of Communication is upon us.  Starting next Tuesday, January 26, students will have the opportunity, not only to network with professionals at the top of various communication fields, but also to attend workshops designed to develop the skills necessary for launching their career.

“Career Week is part of the ‘value-add’ you benefit from as a Loyola SOC student.  Over three nights, right here on campus in Regents Hall of Lewis Tower, you have access to more than 40 industry professionals who are ready to meet, coach and help you,” said Cheryl McPhilimy, Director of Internship and Career Services, said.  “These are people you wouldn’t usually have easy access to.  There’s no better, more convenient way for an SOC student to learn and to network.”

These events have proven to be very successful in helping Loyola students get a coveted internship or full-time job.  Every year, attendees are able to separate themselves from a stack of résumés and start to build relationships with employers.

“Last year, we had a woman who hosts a morning radio show serve on one of our panels. We had a student go up to her afterwards and express her interest in media. The student ended up shadowing her during the radio show, meeting a number of her colleagues at the station and was then offered a job,” said Meghan Ashbrock, Event Coordinator.  “We’ve had major results and with top paying agencies.”

The first night is dedicated to a panel of four industry experts discussing effective and current strategies for breaking into desired fields.  Also, panelists will show examples of standout résumés and portfolios that resulted in the applicants being hired for entry-level positions. 

On Wednesday, January 27, some 30 communication professionals will meet one-on-one with students for résumé critiques and interview advice.  It has been consistently the most popular event of the week.

“We run the résumé workshop almost like speed dating, Ashbrock said.  “We will have tables set up around the room where students can meet with a professional for about 12 minutes to do a résumé review, some networking, and exchange business cards.  We ring a bell, and then you go to the next person.  So in a two-hour event, it’s a good chance for students to meet with four or five different professionals.”

The workshop on Thursday, January 28, will go beyond the résumé and will stress the importance of appearance, on and offline.  Students will again get to ask questions and work with various professionals to come up with a game plan for the Career and Networking Fair the following Tuesday, February 2.

“Thursday's event, January 28, is a must-attend for anyone wanting to ace the job and internship search.  We will have experts in to share wisdom on using LinkedIn, the professional wardrobe, what makes a successful portfolio, how to introduce yourself and how to work a career fair,” McPhilimy said.

With more than 50 employers in attendance at the Career and Networking Fair, it is important that students come prepared.  Spend time researching the individuals and companies (the list of registered employers is here), dress professionally, and bring plenty of résumés to hand out.  

“We try to make sure that all the professionals who are coming represent all of the different disciplines,” Ms. Ashbrock said. “So, no matter if you are studying non-profit communication or if you’re wanting to be a diehard print-journalist, there will be somebody there that you want to meet.”