More than 100 students connected with potential employers and mentors representing 19 companies during the Lundquist College’s Careers in Finance, Wealth Management, Corporate Accounting, and Banking event held last month.
The casual networking event is tailored to students with an interest in accounting, economics, finance, and operations and business analytics—or a combination of those subjects.
The evolving function this year featured
- Panel discussions during the first hour of the event followed by networking time
- Student-employer connection time in the form of a networking mixer instead of a career fair format
- A more selective process for inviting companies with the goal of creating a special blend of industry representatives for students
- An intense student-to-student marketing effort.
Student attendance tripled compared with last year, and those students showed a noteworthy diversity of majors. Along with the expected accounting, economics, and business administration majors, students studying social science, journalism, computer and information science, law, and psychology also turned out for the function.
Kim Evans, Career Services assistant director for employer engagement, said it is never too early to start making connections with potential future employers and investigating career paths. Lundquist Career Services is spurring this on through what Evans describes as a career services student army.
“We understand we have to have our students engage with other students and encourage them to start early, do it more often, and attend events,” she said. “It can be really intimidating to approach an employer,” Evans said. “But employers are so excited to engage with students in this context.”
Breakout panel titles at the event included “Women in Banking and Finance,” “Wealth Management,” “Corporate Accounting,” “Business Analytics,” and “Big Data.” Students were able to ask panelists about getting started in their chosen field and learn tips for early job success.
In the well-attended “Women in Banking and Finance” session, Karen Harris of Intel emphasized the importance of being your own advocate. Harris said she has noticed a gender divide in this area and encouraged women to make sure their contributions are known.
“When you do good work, counting on other people to notice isn’t enough,” she said.
KeyBank’s Kelsi Colombi encouraged women to know their worth and negotiate—not only for salary and raises but also for prime projects and opportunities.
Meanwhile, during the “Wealth Management” session, the tips kept coming. Anika Hedstrom from Vista Capital Partners stressed developing strong emotional intelligence.
“Clients want to know you understand and can empathize with them,” she said.
“Be coachable,” added Aimee Butler of Waddell & Reed.
The next big career event is a partnership with the School of Journalism and Communication and the Career Center in the Division of Student Life. Careers in Communication, Sales, and Marketing is planned for 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, in the Lillis Business Complex.