Evening with Professionals event to feature alumni

Students will have an opportunity on Nov. 3 to network with professionals during Evening with Professionals, an event provided by Career Development.

Brittany Cervantes, Writer

Evening with Professionals, a networking opportunity for students provided by Career Development, will take place on Thursday Nov. 3. This is the first year that the event will have specifically Biola alumni professionals, including alumni from Disney, Universal Studios, Mattel, B. Jones Style, Vizio and other companies.

Richard Ramsey, vice president of human resources for Walt Disney Studios distribution, will be one of the professionals returning to Biola for the event.

“When I think back to my undergraduate days, I wish I had participated in more of these types of events,” Ramsey said. “I also wish that I had the opportunity for this type of access to employers.”

Now working for a large multinational company, Ramsey is happy to create this opportunity for students.

Event offers networking experience to students

Networking is key to getting a job, according to Mark Matthes, associate director of Biola Career Development and Sandy Harden, a Biola career counselor.

Matthes shared the statistic he found in his research in a recent blog post on Career Development’s website: about 70 percent of jobs are found through networking, Lindsay Pollack, a career expert said. Matthes also found in his research that 29 percent of college grads in a april 2011 survey wish they would have spent more time building a professional network, including connecting with alumni. It was made clear by Matthes and Harden that this event is not a recruiting event but can help students gain experince with professionals in the work place.

“The evening is a chance for students to mingle and learn from professionals in various fields,” Harden said.

The event is an opportunity for students to be face to face with some high profile Biola alumni over a three-course meal. The event starts with each professional introducing themselves and explaining what they wish they had learned before beginning their careers. Employers and students will have a chance to have a conversation over dinner which is not usually common with most career events, Matthes said.

Each course will give students about 25 minutes to network with an employer. For each round students will be sitting with a different professional. The students will be alerted as to when to change tables for their top three choices.

Invited professionals are alumni only

Matthes explained that they chose to include only Biola alumni for several reasons. Students sometimes are intimidated to talk to people in high-level positions, Matthes said. Another reason was to build bridges with Biola alumni since they are more willing to give back.

In selecting the professionals, they went through a strategic process, Harden said. Harden and Matthes both stated that this process meant choosing wisely to suit a range of career interests.

Ramsey believes this format will serve the students best. Students will be able to gain knowledge on getting a job after graduation, he said. He expressed how important he thought it was that students take advantage of this opportunity. Evening with Professionals gives students a chance to get their name out into the work field.

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