On Feb. 11, the UHD Career Development Center welcomed 35 students and 11 UHD faculty and staff to its Speed Networking Luncheon. The luncheon was designed to teach students to create an “elevator speech,” a 30-second pitch that summarizes who you are.
The event consisted of three parts: a 30 minute training on “networking basics” by UHD Career Counselor Wendy Cooper; an hour of speed networking led by UHD Career Counselor Mart Trummer, where students spent five to six minutes at 11 different tables practicing their speeches with UHD staff and faculty; and a luncheon, which enabled students to continue their conversations with faculty, staff and their peers.
Psychology major Heather Strange had valuable takeaways from the event.
“I enjoyed this event very much and hope we have more,” said Strange. “It was informative and I learned a lot, especially from the mixer portion. We learned how to step out of our comfort zone and develop ourselves so we are prepared for the professional world. I’m excited and ready to sign up for the next one.”
Isabel Almaguer, a student assistant, also gain valuable experience. “The networking event gave us the necessary skills needed to build and maintain professional relationships,” she said.
Representatives from Advancement and University Relations, Employment Services and Operations, the W.I. Dykes Library, the College of Business, Study Abroad, University College, and Student Affairs were in attendance, as well as students from all five colleges of the University.
Jacob Lipp, director of UHD Corporate Relations said, “I really enjoyed Speed Networking as a chance to encourage students to build important professional skills, and I hope it was as much fun for the students who took this time to invest in themselves.”
This event was funded by a High Impact Practices (HIPS) grant and was coordinated by Laura Weseley, director of the Career Development Center. Weseley said “events like there are key to student development and success.” She further commented that most employment opportunities, more than 80 percent, are found through networking; therefore it is important to show students how to network, and that it can be fun.