CHBS Takes a Page from Speed Dating Handbook
"Everyone back away from the table," Dean Kate Hawkins called to a group of College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences (CHBS) students Friday. The students had just spent five hand-wringing minutes pitching their skills, know-how and personality to a professional seated across the table.
Hawkins smacked a hand-held bell to signify that time was up.
The purpose of the inaugural speed networking event on Heth lawn was to give CHBS students an opportunity to pitch themselves to and answer questions from successful Radford University alumni in quick job-interview-like sessions.
"This is a terrific opportunity for students to learn how to network, because we know networking puts them in position where they can get a job," said Hawkins, who organized the event as part of Family Weekend and Alumni Homecoming 2012. "This is an excellent opportunity for them to develop that skill set."
Participating students opened each five-minute session with a 30-second pitch to the professional sitting directly across the table. Once the pitch was completed, students fielded questions about their skills and career plans.
"I was very nervous for the first couple of interviews," said senior sociology major Jeremy Mobley after the hourlong session.
"I've only had one official job interview, and this, having one after the other in one sitting, helped me as I went along," said Mobley, who plans to pursue a career in sociology research. "My first couple of interviews were a little shaky, but by the end of it I had confidence, and it was very reassuring. I was much less stressed by the end."
At the conclusion of each interview, the professional made notes to be shared with the student. Once those notes were completed, each student moved to the right for another interview.
Among the participating alumni was Joseph Yost '06, M.S. '08, who now represents Virginia's 12th District in the House of Delegates. "When I was in school we never did anything like this, so it's a great experience to throw them in and let them swim," he said.
Following an hour of interviews, students and alumni met informally and mingled.
"That's another kind of networking opportunity," Hawkins said. "Students learn how to network at social events, such as asking for business cards and things they may not otherwise know how to do."