Eberly Backpack to Briefcase Program Prepares Students

Posted on 3/4/2013 3:45:57 PM

More than 350 students prepared for their professional careers at the “Backpack to Briefcase” workshop series hosted by the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology the week of February 25, 2013.

Career WeekEberly’s first Career Week consisted of 14 different sessions geared toward helping students in career preparation areas, including networking, interviews, and job searching. These sessions were developed and offered by Eberly faculty and by staff from the Career Development Center and the Center for Family Business.

Business partners also helped with the event. BNY Mellon human resource specialist Amy Bardol conducted mock interviews, and PLS Logistics Services talent acquisition specialist Jessica Sanders coordinated a shadowing event for business students on site. S&T Bank executive vice president and director of human resources and employee communications Becky Stapleton assisted with the interviewing tips and techniques presentation.

Cyndy Strittmatter, assistant dean for Administration at IUP, appreciated their assistance.

“We are working to give our students an edge and to provide them with the tools they need to be better prepared and competitive,” Strittmatter said. “We are fortunate to have faculty, staff, and business partners who were willing to work with our students on this activity.”

Sessions Monday included Mock Interviews, How to Use College Central for Internships and Job Opportunities, International Student Job Search, Interviewing Tips and Techniques, and Effective Networking.

The Effective Networking session, led by Technology Support and Training professor Kara Romance, taught students techniques such as how to create a business card and an elevator speech. Romance even covered the basics of effective handshaking. The informal environment of the session allowed students to make comments and ask questions. Students said they appreciated the opportunity.

“It was helpful because I didn’t know how to make a business card, and now I have to start making my elevator speech,” Amma Oppong, a senior Human Resources Management major, said. “These days it helps to know people. What’s on your resume is not enough.”

Career WeekThe workshop continued Tuesday with sessions called Obtaining Letters of Recommendation, Looking for Jobs on the Internet, and Thinking about Graduate School.

John Skrabut, a senior International Business major, attended the Looking for Jobs on the Internet session.

“I learned about different resources that we can use for the application process,” he said. “I didn’t know about specific websites like Monster that give you specific jobs you would be looking for.”

On Wednesday, a Resume and Cover Letter workshop and Social Media and Job Search, Interviewing Tips and Techniques, and Dress for Success sessions were offered.

Sarah Lynn, a junior International Business and Economics major, said the Resume and Cover Letter workshop was helpful.

“I already had a resume, but I learned how I can improve it by including more specific information about my accomplishments and experiences,” she said.

The Resume and Cover Letter workshop was offered again Thursday along with First Impressions and Verbal Communication and What You Can Do Now to Get the Job That You Want After College sessions.

The workshop series concluded Friday with a PLS Logistics Job Shadow Day, where nine students toured the company and spent time with employee officials learning about their respective duties.

Abbey Zelko