RU students get tips from the pros at Experience Business Casually
Radford University's College of Business and Economics (COBE) held its fifth annual Experience Business Casually career development event Friday, giving students a unique opportunity to network with business professionals who in turn provided tips for succeeding in the job and internship market.
Co-sponsored by the Office of Career Services and Community Engagement and open to all RU students, Experience Business Casually brought to campus alumni, business executives and friends in the COBE Building on Friday, Sept. 20.
Representatives from more than 30 businesses and organizations offered students expertise regarding resumes, interviews, applying for jobs, presenting a professional image, handshakes and dining etiquette. Representatives also coached students on getting into graduate school and finding passion.
Mason Whitehurst, a senior from Virginia Beach majoring in business marketing, went to Experience Business Casually to prepare himself for the months ahead when he begins applying for a job.
"I need to make sure I have everything put together," said Whitehurst, who had his resume critiqued by three different business professionals and received dining etiquette tips from Barbara Griffiths of RU Dining Services. "I'm just trying to learn to be as professional as I can for when I graduate."
Haley Schweitzer is scheduled to graduate in May and went to Experience Business Casually to "get my resume critiqued and learn more about internships because I need an internship for the summer." Schweitzer is majoring in tourism and special events with a minor in business.
Senior accounting major Alex Kessler of Newport News said she went to Experience Business Casually to hear from professionals who worked in her area of study and to learn more about proper resume content. "It's good to know what companies want on a resume when they hire," she said.
Katie Rognlie, a senior accounting major attended the event for tips on resumes and also to gain confidence talking about herself to employees. "I'm really shy," said the Fairfax native. "Coming to this event, learning interview techniques, helps a lot."
Teresa Dickens, assistant director of career counseling, said Experience Business Casually is an excellent opportunity for students to get past shyness and work out any issues in the personal delivery.
"This event gives students the opportunity to hear the perspective from employers and recruiters and they can practice, for example, their introduction personal pitch," Dickens explained. "This is a safe place if they do not get it right, because, from there, students can improve their skills and do it correctly when they are in interviews."
Many RU alumni annually participate in Experience Business Casually and see the event as a valuable opportunity and responsibility to give back to their university.
Aaron French graduated from RU in 2006 and now is a director on the internal communications team at Teach for America. He is not a recruiter for his company, but volunteered for the opportunity to return to campus for a chance to talk with RU students.
"I was here. I know the talent and instruction that goes on here," French explained. "It's really important for me to show, especially the organization I work for, that Radford University has high-quality students."
Doug Shanks, a district manager for Fastenal, agrees. "I love coming to Radford. I love the quality of students I interview," he noted. "The students here are professional and confident and you can tell they want to be here at this event. You can tell the administration and faculty really have the students' best interest at heart."
Radford University is a comprehensive public university of more than 9,900 students. RU serves the Commonwealth of Virginia and the nation through a wide range of academic, cultural, human service, and research programs. Well known for its strong faculty/student bonds, innovative use of technology in the learning environment and vibrant student life on a beautiful 191-acre American classical campus, Radford University offers students many opportunities to get involved and succeed in and out of the classroom. The university offers 69 degree programs at the undergraduate level, and 21 master's programs and three doctoral programs at the graduate level. A Division I member of the NCAA and Big South Athletic Conference, Radford participates in 19 varsity sports—11 for women and eight for men. Since 2005, the university has secured approval and funding for nearly $300 million in capital projects, including both new construction and renovation.
Learn more about Radford University at www.radford.edu.