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Alumni Society Career Night offers valuable networking experience for students

Practice and the real thing merge into one at the annual College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management Alumni Society Career Night. The event gives more than 300 students a chance to practice the networking skills learned in HRSM 301 while making connections with alumni and industry partners.

Seawell’s hosted this fall’s Career Night, and dozens of alumni and partners came early to prepare to help the students not only by networking but also by sharing their expertise and evaluating the students’ skills. The event is one of countless examples of the college’s focus on practical lessons.

"We want to provide the best experiential education in the nation," Dean Haemoon Oh told the group. "We are going to work hard to achieve until we find no competitors in front of us."

Those on hand to network with the students included very recent graduates, current faculty and staff, and older alumni including Thomas Jackson, class of 1958. Alumni Society President-elect Olivia Hyatt said she knows firsthand the value of networking, having been hired for her first job by her internship manager.
"Not a day goes by that things I learned in the classroom and at these types of events and my internships, that I don't use them on an everyday basis," said Hyatt, now client services manager at Buonasera Media Services. "You make these connections and you really go."

Dean Oh said he hopes to see the connection between HRSM and its alumni and industry partners grow even stronger with the planned establishment of a Center for Corporate Engagement.

Chick-fil-A, Target, Jason’s Deli, Colonial Life Arena, and many other businesses were represented, and Hyatt summed up the goal of the night. "We want to make sure we're preparing these students to be people we'd want to hire."

The spring semester Career Night is set for Feb. 21, 2017. For more information, contact Tina Weaver, director of alumni and external relations. More photos from the fall event are posted on the HRSM Facebook page.