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Business Students Strengthen Networking Skills

Business Students Strengthen Networking Skills
Nicole Sweigard visited with students about Union Bank & Trust.
More than 30 employers came to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business to connect with students at the Build Your Community networking event. Hosted by the Business Career Center from April 2-5, students enrolled in Career Development and Planning (BSAD 222) had the opportunity to meet and talk with professionals from Nebraska businesses.

In a speed networking style, students found either a fellow classmate or an employer and then talked for five minutes before needing to switch to network with another professional. This event is part of the second course in the Professional Enhancement Program (PrEP), which is a series of four one-credit hour, pass or no pass courses designed to develop students for lifelong career success.

Katie Sewell, assistant director for the center, said, “That first interaction is important when it comes to networking. This event allows students to think outside the box on where they might want to work someday, all while developing crucial networking skills. I emphasize to them these employers come from all over, work at national companies and have friends at other businesses. They can be a great connecter for students to get where they want to go.”

Students and professionals converse about internships, tips on networking and hobbies.
Students and professionals converse about internships, tips on networking and general interests.
Employers started the event by giving any advice or tips they have on networking. They spoke on what they have experienced and their company values. Employers can use this event as an opportunity to build brand recognition with sophomores and early juniors, and as a way to get introduced to students. They are not required to send someone from human resources or a recruiter. Anyone from the company can come network with the students and talk about what they do.

“Even as an older professional, it is important for me to network as well at events like this. Every day I met young professionals who took the time to dress up and put their best foot forward,” said Nicole Sweigard, business development manager at Union Bank & Trust. “I’ve been impressed with the groups of students I have met. I thought as the professional I would be the one seeking out and leading these conversations, but that has not been the case. They’ve taken the initiative and they are out there to work the room, and to meet as many people as they can. It’s been fun for me to meet all of them.”

As part of the PrEP program, BSAD 222 focuses on career development. In this course, students learn more about their interests, skills, and values and identify career goals through career research and creating an Individual Development Plan. To help them make informed academic and career decisions, they conduct an informational interview with a professional in a career field of interest. Finally, students prepare for internships by developing a resume through a personal one-on-one resume coaching session with a career coach.

To learn more about the Business Career Center, visit:
Published: April 9, 2018