(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) – On Monday, September 18, 2017, The Career & Professional Development Center (CPDC) partnered with the Athletics Department to host the third annual Student-Athlete and Employer Networking session from 8 to 9:30 p.m. in Legacy Plaza.
Twenty-eight employers were in attendance, and more than 150 student-athletes attended the event and networked with employers to discuss career opportunities. Freshmen to seniors, from all different sports, were excited to meet with such a variety of employers representing different industries. The students remarked that the casual setting led to a more relaxed environment than a typical career fair, and they were able to make a lot of great contacts.
The attending employers remarked how they really enjoy working with student-athletes since they are very driven, committed and passionate. Similar to past years, the Career Center expects many students to receive employment opportunities as a result of this event.
Tartan football alum Rob Kalkstein (Tepper 2014) works for Deloitte Consulting in its Pittsburgh location and represented the company at the event.
"The CMU Athlete Networking Event is one of our favorite events to attend on campus each year," said Kalkstein. "We are searching for candidates who demonstrate leadership and time management skills, and the student athletes consistently demonstrate these skills as they balance their team and academic commitments. We know this event provides the opportunity to meet students with some of our targeted skills."
Kalkstein also spoke of the event as a former student-athlete saying, "I remember the many scheduling conflicts between practices and the recruiting events held on campus, and this event is a great opportunity for athletes to network with employers at a time that is available to them."
Each fall, the Career & Professional Development Center hosts three career fairs on campus allowing all students the opportunity to engage with potential employers. The Employment Opportunities Conference (EOC), the Business Opportunities Conference (BOC) and Spark (Startup Companies) all take place in the fall. The Society of Women Engineers also hosts the Technical Opportunities Conference (TOC) which is the largest of the career fairs and attracts over 200 employers. All the career fairs are heavily attended by the students and result in many interviews and subsequent job opportunities.
Women’s tennis junior Jamie Vizelman really felt she made a personal connection.
“It was good to have the opportunity to interact with the recruiters at a smaller and less formal networking event, and make meaningful connections,” said Vizelman. “One of the consultants at a company I talked with encouraged me to stop by tomorrow at Encompass and say hi again so I could talk to their head recruiter. This was helpful because I feel like I made a more lasting and memorable impression than just talking with them once at a career fair.”