Posts Tagged ‘career’

Retail Day 2011: On The Hunt

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

 

Retail students with the Director of the Retail Management Program, Dr. Mary Ann Odegaard.

Retail students with the Director of the Retail Management Program, Dr. Mary Ann Odegaard.

College students often attend career fairs in hopes of finding potential jobs. It’s usually the same thing: rows of tables full of drowsy recruiters. The Retail Management Program at the University of Washington has been making the typical career fair more exciting for the past 13 years. They call it Retail Day.

Retail Day took place on April 13th. The theme of this year’s event was “On the Hunt,” referring to students hunting for jobs. The decor reflected the theme by incorporating safari touches all through the halls. There were vines hanging from the balconies as the students wore forest green t-shirts with safari hats.

The program provides students a networking opportunity in a more laid back atmosphere. Marie Kapelke, president of the Retail Management Program Student Association, says, “Normal career fairs can be tense and nerve wracking for both recruiters as well as students, but Retail Day allows students and recruiters to feel comfortable being themselves.”

For Retail Day, the awkwardness is removed by small touches making the atmosphere more student friendly. One of the crowd pleasers is the fashion show. Kapelke says it is her favorite part. “You get to see your friends model the latest fashion trends across various clothing and jewelry retailers.”

Anna Fowler was the mastermind behind the show.  She sought out sponsors to donate clothes to dress the models. This year the fashion show featured clothing from retailers such as Mercer and Buffalo Exchange. Fowler also contacted people to do the models’ hair and makeup to give the show a more authentic touch.

The seating area across from Orin’s Place made the perfect venue for the fashion show. The Deloitte Commons served as a food and refreshment center while the retailers lined their tables through the length of the second floor. As the day went on students approached each table and spoke to the retailers. They were able to learn more about the companies and what types of opportunities are available to them.

 Not only does this event provide students with a networking opportunity, but students learn to lead and work with each other as they prepare for the day. Margy Zook, chair of this year’s Retail Day says, “I am able to share [this] leadership experience with potential employers in interview situations and exemplify my position in the success of the event.”

This was the first year Retail Day found its home in Paccar. The students no longer had the spacious comforts of the old Balmer Commons.  Creativity was the result. Mallory Lindberg, an Employment Specialist from Nordstrom, says, “There were quite a few students that were not part of the retail program who were wandering through [the recruiters’ tables]…”

This new layout allowed for a larger flow of traffic to experience Retail Day. Balmer Commons was a secluded room that students had to make a conscious decision to enter. In Paccar, the event came to them in the halls so a larger population was exposed to it.

At the end of the event, the club held the annual raffle where retailers donated many prizes. One student bought just five raffle tickets (at $1 a piece) and won a snow board and a $500 gift certificate for new tires.

Zook says the event benefits the Foster School of Business as a whole. “By having Retail Day, Foster can showcase the RMP certificate in association with any of the business school majors. It also emphasizes that there are so many different majors and choices a student has through Foster.”

 

 –Rachel Zakhary, Senior, Retail Management Program

CISB International Business Career Panel

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

CISB

On October 28, the CISB program invited five distinguished professionals from the international business community to speak about working globally and to give advice on how to make an internationally oriented career.

Melissa Peabody, a graduate of the Foster School and CISB, spoke about her time at Bryant Christie Inc. and how starting at a smaller firm gave her the confidence and the network to go after larger challenges when she moved to Starbucks in June of 2006. She said that in order to work internationally, one must be flexible: there will be conference calls at odd hours and there will be times where clear communication is key.

Pedro Piedra described his motivation for pursuing an international career starting when working next to the foreign exchange desk at one of his first jobs.  He saw the huge amount of activity and extremely active nature of the foreign exchange department and decided that is where he needed to be. Years later, Pedro has worked for many international firms in New York, Tokyo, and London.  Currently he works as the Vice President of International Foreign Exchange at Key Bank.

June Chino grew up in both the United States and Japan and so working internationally felt like the obvious choice for her.  This made her pursue a job at the Washington State Japan Office, a perfect fit for someone with familiarity of both Seattle and Japan.  As the sole representative of the public sector at the career panel, June said focusing more on the people and what you are doing, rather than the salary makes jobs in government extremely rewarding.

Steven Grimmer is the Vice President of Account Management at Expeditors International of Washington.  Steven talked a lot about the importance of networking and making a name for yourself in the community where you want to seek a career. He said that, when interviewing job candidates, the one thing that puts people over the top in his book is writing a personalized, hand written card after the interview to follow up and thank the potential employer for the opportunity. He said the personal touch can sometimes make all the difference.

Last, but certainly not least, Jess Estrada, a fellow UW graduate, talked about her career in marketing and the importance of social networking.  She said that if an employer can look you up on Google and find a blog you’ve written, or even just posts on Twitter about things that interest you and get a feel for what you are all about, it adds a whole other dimension to your application.  In 2008, Jess started a blog about local events, business, fashion, music, and other things that interest her. 

All of the panelists acknowledged the importance of getting involved and networking when pursuing a career in international business.  It never hurts to at least introduce yourself.

 

–Brian James, Senior, Finance and CISB (Custom Russian Track)

Working the Room

Friday, January 22nd, 2010
Jack Rhodes talks to students about how to "work a room".

Jack Rhodes talks to students about how to "work a room".

The BUILD Program kicked off the Winter quarter on January 20th with a workshop on effective networking. Jack Rhodes, Director of the Sales Program, spoke to a packed room of 75 students about the importance of expanding and building networks.

The hour-long program was full of tips like preparing an “elevator pitch”,  how to remember names (repetition!), how to extricate yourself from a conversation, and some basic networking etiquette.  Jack also stressed the need to follow up after meeting someone for the first time, as relationships are about give and take. Hand written notes, gifts or even articles sent to your contacts can be thoughtful ways to stay in touch. “Remember the past is really your foundation for the future,” he said.

Freshman through seniors signed in for the event, and the high attendance was no surprise as networking is one of the most popular workshop topics each year. Many students heard about the program through friends or in class, and others were there to prepare for the annual Foster Career Networking Night , which will be held on January 27th, where undergraduates are invited to network with Foster alumni who have graduated in the past ten years.

2009 Business Career Fair

Friday, October 23rd, 2009
UMCA officers coordinate the annual Business Career Fair

UMCA officers coordinate the annual Business Career Fair

Undergraduate Management Consulting Association (UMCA) hosts the annual Business Career Fair every fall quarter in the beginning of the school year. Even though UMCA focuses on careers in management consulting and investment banking, the Business Career Fair features companies hiring for all types of careers. This fair has always been advertised campus-wide and is a great opportunity to interact with recruiters. Hence, this event has always been highly anticipated by both students and employers. Both parties have consistently found success each year where students receive internship and job offers as well as employers hire talented students to add value to their companies.

 In the current state of the economy, we were presented with a few problems in planning for the Business Career Fair 2009. As companies continue to cut their budget, recruiting continues to decline. Therefore, the main concern was: With more students seeking jobs than ever, how do we increase employer attendance to offer more networking opportunities for students?

Students meet recruiters at the annual Business Career Fair

Current student Holly Rubert talks with alum Susan Kramer (BA '07) during the Business Career Fair.

 This year, a committee of eight worked meticulously on developing ways to increase employer attendance and cut costs without degrading the students’ or employers’ experience at the fair. On October 13th, after over 3 months, 1100 emails, and 450 hours of planning later, it all came together in 4 hours as students interacted with over 80 employers, developing relationships, and finding the right fit for themselves and the company. Employers were impressed with the quality and quantity of the students. Many recruiters complimented our UMCA Resume Book, which was given to all employers, featuring the profile and resumes of all UMCA members. In regards to the quantity of students, a recruiter quoted, “I haven’t spoke with this many students in four years.” As for me, it was an extreme pleasure to be working with an enthusiastic committee of UMCA members and officers; although, none would have been possible without the help from the Foster School of Business, UW Career Center, SAO office, and HUB services.

 If you are interested in being involved with the Business Career Fair 2010, come to our UMCA meetings on Wednesdays 7PM in Balmer 214.

 We wish all students the best of luck during recruiting season!

 

Rocky Tang (Junior, Finance)
Career Fair Coordinator
Undergraduate Management Consulting Association