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Nearly 200 students learn how to "Master the Art of Networking" through Career Exploration and Success

On December 7, 2019, nearly 200 students dedicated six hours to improve their networking skills at the "Mastering the Art of Networking: Career Conference and Etiquette Dinner." The immersive event, coordinated by the Office of Career Exploration and Success (formerly University Career Services), was six months in the making. "Based on our student data, networking is a topic of interest for many students," said William Jones, Senior Director of Career Exploration and Success and conference chair. "We wanted to create an environment that was immersive and designed to calm the fears associated with networking by having students get up and experience it first-hand."

The event featured a dynamic keynote address entitled "How to Ignite Successful Careers in a World Gone Social" presented by Mark Babbitt, the CEO and founder of YouTern, a social career resource for college students, recent graduates, and young professionals. "{Mr. Babbitt} gave us a lot of questions to ask of ourselves and our potential employers," stated Jessica Miranda, a biomedical engineering graduate student who shared her experience on LinkedIn.

Three immersive breakout sessions soon followed:

  • The Art of Improv: Mastering Small Talk with Andrew Seguel
  • The Art of Working a Room: An Interactive Networking Clinic with Jean O'Toole
  • The Art of Your Online Branding: LinkedIn Learning Labs and Professional Headshots with Sue Pye

CES designed the interactive sessions to help students learn by doing, which is a primary tenant of experiential learning. The evening culminated in a business etiquette dinner facilitated by Robert A. Shutt, a business etiquette expert featured on CBS Evening News. 

The event was coordinated by CES and students were able to attend at a subsidize rate due to the support of CES employer sponsors Tata Consultancy Services, US Army, Freedom Mortgage Corporation, and Trinity Solar.  

Feedback from students on social media was overwhelmingly positive.

Students who are interested in putting their networking skills to the test can participate in a variety of CES-sponsored programs and resources. Visit https://careers.rutgers.edu/pursue today to learn more.

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