While the new freshmen class was preparing for their first year at Seton Hall, Robin Cunningham, associate vice-president of freshman studies, received a phone call this summer. When Nancy Borkowski, assistant director of the Career Center, called her during summer break to talk about “the [Career Center’s] vision about doing something for first-year students,” Cunningham said that it was a chance she couldn’t pass up on.
While the new freshmen class was preparing for their first year at Seton Hall, Robin Cunningham, associate vice-president of freshman studies, received a phone call this summer. When Nancy Borkowski, assistant director of the Career Center, called her during summer break to talk about “the [Career Center’s] vision about doing something for first-year students,” Cunningham said that it was a chance she couldn’t pass up on.The Freshmen Studies program, in collaboration with the Career Center, concluded its first series of freshman networking workshops on Oct. 18. Both departments designed the events to follow the vision they had in the summer of doing something specific for freshmen students to prepare them before attending future career related events on campus later on in their college careers.
Each session intended on helping first-year students ease into developing a professional network. Students were able to learn various strategies to prepare for future career events on campus, such as how to prepare a resume properly and mastering how to make a lasting and memorable first impression.
With more than 230 students attending both sessions, the departments had to divide students into three separate packed classrooms in Mooney Hall, with some having to sit on the floor. Cunningham, who led one of the presentations, wanted to make sure that students are taking advantage of their opportunities while adapting to their new environment on campus.
“We certainly want career development and career exploration to be part of their vocabulary in their first year,” Cunningham said. “We just don’t necessarily want them to be super aggressive in these areas in their first year. We want them to be acclimated to everything associated with college life.”
One of those students is Angelina D’Angelo, a freshman communications major, attended this event for the same reason as many students told Justin Krass, assistant director of the Career Center: to fulfill a requirement. Despite going to fulfill one of her University Life requirements, she said that the event has prepared her to network with future employers. She specifically plans to use the elevator pitch that they learned to impress employers.
Lawson Barkley, a freshman diplomacy major, said he learned many valuable tips that he plans to use at future Career Center events. He will be attending the upcoming Law School Confidential, which will cover the application process for law school and have professionals talk about what it is to have a career in the legal field. “Learning how to organize my information and being able to appear more professional in a networking environment is something that is always going to stick with me,” Barkley said.
Borkowski and Cunningham see the attendance of 249 freshmen as a reason to get back on the phone and plan for future semesters. Borkowski believes that the attendance was unexpectedly high because students see the value of going to events like this early into their academic care. “I think what we’ve given them is a non-threatening session where they can practice introducing themselves, so they’re ready when they have to talk to future employers,” said Borkowski.
Nicholas Mariano can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.