On Wednesday, May 22, 2013 Virginia International University’s Career Center organized an orientation seminar for the new students of Summer I 2013 at the Waples Conference Center from 3-4 P.M. The total number of attendees was 42, including 35 students, 2 student staff, 4 VIU staff, and the guest speaker. Refreshments from McDonald’s were served at the event.

Ms. Emily Leighty, VIU Student Affairs Coordinator, kicked off the seminar with a brief introduction of the event. She welcomed students, reviewed the event agenda, and introduced speakers to the students.

The first speaker, Ms. Janet Adere, Human Resources Manager at VIU, gave an informative presentation on employment opportunity on-campus for students. It was informative for the students, since most new student want to know about opportunities to get a job.

Next, Mr. Alif A H M, Student Support Representative for the Career Center, educated attendees about the online tools and resources available through the Career Center which are useful to apply for jobs. Students were shown how to log in and use the Career Service Manager (CSM), how to upload résumés and cover letters, how to apply for jobs via CSM, how to use NACE Link, and how to use the Interview Stream tool.

The final presentation was made by Ms. Ellen Meinhart, Managing Director of Starting Gate Global, about job searching tools and techniques. Ms. Meinhart has 25 years of experience in sales and marketing, and she has an impressive professional network. First, she advised students to get involved with volunteer activities; she also gave examples of organization which offer volunteering activities. She also mentioned that it is good to do something for the society we live in as it will help us to build a good professional network.

Following that she urged students to get internships, whether paid or unpaid, because being an intern allows a student to grain professional etiquette and gather experience. She also suggested that students get involved with professional organizations like the Farifax Chamber of Commerce. Getting involved with such organizations helps students to get jobs in the future. Finally, she encouraged students to get involved with clubs to develop leadership skills, as well as communication skills.

At the end of the event, Ms. Meinhart happily met with interested students individually and provided them with her business card. It seems students had already learned one way to begin building their own professional networks!