Speed Networking Valuable for Students, Alumni

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Nearly 30 alumni and business professionals converged on the Bowling Green State University Firelands College this spring to participate in a speed networking event for current students.

During the event, students spent 2-3 minutes at a table speaking with one of the alumni and when the time expired, the students moved to the next table.  The process was repeated until the students met a majority of the alumni.

“Networking is a critical skill for modern day job seekers,” said BGSU Firelands Coordinator of Career Services Megan Zahler.  “A quality education and a strong resume are still important, but networking provides the contacts that are necessary to identify job opportunities and circulate your name in professional environments.”

According to Zahler, the speed networking event is a unique and entertaining way to teach students how to network effectively.

“One of the most enlightening events I have attended at BGSU Firelands,” said Jacob Wiedebheft, an accounting major and one of the 40 BGSU Firelands students who attended the event.  “The alumni and professionals were both friendly and helpful and provided lots of good tips on how to be successful in our careers,” he added.

Alumni in attendance represented a variety of professional sectors including business, health care, technology, education, public sectors, and more.

Jaymee Skelly ’09, ’14, ’16, the foundation program manager at the National Association of College Stores, believes the event is an opportunity for students to make connections with other professionals within their field, and outside of their field.

“Alumni can be a great resource to help students begin to build their own networks. I may not be a perfect match for every student’s career goals but I may know someone in their field who is a great match to mentor them, help further their career, or help them get their foot in the door at their dream job,” she said.

Although students are the primary beneficiaries of the event, the alumni certainly gain from the experience too.

“This was such a positive experience for me as an alumna. I loved hearing the students' stories, and how BGSU Firelands changed their lives,” said Judy Sommers ’68, ’95.

Sommers is a retired educator with nearly 40 years of experience in public education and higher education in Ohio and North Carolina.  Sommers currently serves as the BGSU Firelands Leadership Council Chairperson and she has received the BGSU Community Service Award and the BGSU Alumni Service Award.

“It’s important to stay involved with BGSU because it provided me with the skills necessary to have a successful career in education.  Now it is my turn to help in any way that I can,” said Sommers.