The 3rd annual Professional Selling Networking Mixer was held on November 14, 2017. This year, nearly 70 students were in attendance alongside 15 professionals from various companies. These companies included Vanguard, Aerotek. Undergraduate Programs and the FCB Professional Selling Program proudly hosted this exciting and rewarding evening.
The event started out with a 30-minute presentation on how to “work” a room during a business reception. This presentation taught valuable skills on how to interact with others while being cognizant of etiquette. This event also allows students to get out of their comfort zones and network with professionals in their field.
“You have to be willing to put yourself out there,” said Kevin Trainor, FCB associate dean. “It’s important to come with an open mind and a willingness to do something that might normally be uncomfortable.”
A big challenge in attending a mixer is interacting and networking while holding a plate of food and a drink. Bernadine Lewis, director of Undergraduate Programs for FCB, said she chooses the menu to include hors d’oeuvres that needed utensils as well as finger foods. She said this challenges the attendees, but also teaches students to feel comfortable no matter what is being served.
Students see a lot of benefit from attending a mixer, helping them build overall confidence to command a room and take control of a conversation. Trainor explained that mixers are “inevitable” in the business world, and it is important to teach students the skills while they are in college.
Interaction with others is a tool students cannot learn by simply reading a book; it is a skill that requires practice, and professional events held by FCB provide adequate preparation. “These skills will always be important,” shared Lewis. Undergraduate Programs feels a responsibility to teach a new skill set to students once they leave the classroom, and the mixer provides a unique opportunity to do so.
Of the companies present, Kathy Thomas (’78 MGT) represented Stowebridge Promotion Group and interacted with several students. Stowebridge is known for their involvement in the Executive Job Shadow program, and several students were interested in potentially landing a position and selling themselves during the mixer.
Scott Coor (’76 MKT), vice president of Sales and Marketing for Trendwood, Inc. and also a long-time friend of the business college, was on hand. Other companies, like Vanguard, lifted the standards for the students and their overall impressions made. “They [the students] really had to up their game,” shared Lewis.
The Professional Selling Networking Mixer is hosted in the fall semester each year.
FCB and Undergraduate Programs would like to extend a huge thank you to the corporate sponsors of the event: Fastenal, <https://www.nackard.com/careers” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener” data-cke-saved-href=”https://www.nackard.com/careers”>Nackard Pepsi, and United Rentals. Their involvement makes this wonderful evening possible.