Heart of the Matter

Andy Chan's Blog for Parents, Mentors and Teachers

Face-To-Face Conversations Matter

In the 2012 commencement address, President Hatch counseled the Wake Forest community about the double-sided nature of wireless technology. He reminded that while the speed and efficiency of digital communication is admirable, we are losing something vital in the process. Similarly, technology has transformed job search methods. It is now easier to research, network and apply for a multitude of jobs in locations all over the world, but again something is lost. The Office of Personal & Career Development teaches students that face-to-face interaction – the art of personal conversation – cannot be completely replaced.  We have four key opportunities this semester designed to give students personal interaction with employers.

This past week, we hosted over 45 employers on campus for the 2012 Fall Career Fair. A record number of students, over 600, attended the fair ranging from nervous and timid first-year students to eager and excited seniors. Students met with potential employers from a broad range of industries and job functions.  The fair was an excellent opportunity to gather information and build relationships from employers of all types. Many of these employers will return during the year to conduct information sessions or participate on industry panels and interview students.

Secondly, the office is piloting a job shadowing program over fall break, October 19. Students in our CNS 120 class will shadow local employers to gain “day-on-the-job” insight into specific positions, organization and industries.  This personal experience will allow them to ask lots of questions and be exposed to an unknown, new work environment. Participating students will  also learn how to develop future shadowing and externship experiences targeted to their interests – on their own initiative. If you or your organization is willing to host a WFU student to job shadow, please email Lori Sykes at sykeslh@nullwfu.edu.

Third, with the help and support of Mark Lyons, the Chairman and CEO of Arch Worldwide Insurance Group, a select number of students interested in risk management will receive an all-expenses paid trip to New York on November 8th and 9th to meet with him and other industry leaders. This trip is not limited to business students or even seniors, but is available to all students interested in learning about risk management. We are grateful to Mark Lyons for providing an exceptional opportunity for WFU students to gather information and network in a highly competitive and dynamic industry.

Fourth, Wake Forest is partnering – for the first time – with Stanford University and the University of Chicago to offer career treks to San Francisco, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. from December 16-18th, 2012. Each school will host the career trek in its local region (with Wake Forest claiming Washington, D.C.). In Chicago, students will meet with organizations in the arts and consumer products industries. In the San Francisco Bay Area, students will met with entrepreneurial firms and start-ups.  In Washington, D.C., students will meet organizations in politics/government and consulting. Students will spend the two days visiting with employers to tour their offices and hear presentations, networking with professionals, and meeting students and alumni from all three outstanding universities. Students must complete an application to be considered for the treks by November 2nd.

Through these innovative, valuable initiatives, we are giving students the opportunity to conduct personal face-to-face conversations with employers. To quote President Hatch, “For a place like Wake Forest, conversation is at the heart of what we do because it combines ideas and human interaction, the intellectual and the personal.” Through the strategic programs offered by the OPCD, students are making connections with employers more than ever, which will result in better and greater information for students to access opportunities and make optimal career decisions.

Category: Employer Events