By David Scammon, Staff Writer

UMF Career Services Team (left to right) Lori Soucie, Peter Osborne, Bob Pederson, Judy Burdick, and Stephen Davis (Photo Courtesy of UMD Website)

UMF Career Services Team (left to right) Lori Soucie, Peter Osborne, Bob Pederson, Judy Burdick, and Stephen Davis (Photo Courtesy of UMD Website)

Free admission, free refreshments, and informal conversation with business executives are  just a few of the reasons to attend the upcoming annual College to Career Symposium. This event will take place on November 19 from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m. in the North Dining Hall. Students of all ages, along with alumni, are encouraged to attend.

“We’ve invited six panelists, that come from a variety of different fields, to talk about their personal experiences within that field,” said Peter Osborne, Assistant Director for Career Services. Osborne said that panelists will also discuss employment opportunities and give advice to students on how to get started in that field.

The chosen panelists include leaders, managers, and individuals working in human resources in their respected fields. The numerous industries that will be represented consist of the skiing industry, the promotional products industry, the insurance industry, the banking industry, the technology industry, and the communications industry.

Business attire is suggested, but is not required. “Nice clothing certainly betters your chances of making connections,” said Stephen Davis, Career Counselor. “We don’t want to scare anyone by requiring three piece suits. A nice button-up shirt and nice pants will be fine.”

Tamarah Marston, a UMF senior, said that it would be beneficial for everyone to attend. “As a senior I’ve learned it’s so important to network and always learn as much as you can about after undergraduate possibilities,” Marston said in an email.

Freshman Gabrielle Stewart said that she will wait to attend an event in the future. “None of the panelists are from my field of interest,” she explained. Stewart doesn’t see it as beneficial to attend if none of the panelists represent her particular field.

Osborne views the event as an opportunity to hear from business individuals who ended up choosing careers that differ from majors. Though this is common, many students see fear and anxiety in that decision.  “It’s a great way to meet people who went through different paths,” Osborne said.

Last year, over 50 people attended the event, many leaving with new skills, knowledge, and career opportunities. “Some walked out with contacts for summer jobs or internships,” said Osborne.

While every attendee is encouraged to stay for the entirety of the event, this is certainly not necessary. “People don’t even have to stay for it all,” said Davis. “You don’t even have to show up on time, just being there for a little while would be great.”

The College to Career Symposium is an annual event and organizers will continue to hold similar events in the future.