Cardinal Networking Nights: Professional Meet-and-Greet Helps Students Network | SUNY Plattsburgh
Students dressed in suits, ties and pencil skirts moved through Warren Ballroom attempting to make their first impressions matter. They knew every handshake and business card exchange could potentially open doors for them.
Cardinal Networking Night, hosted by the Career Development Center and the Plattsburgh Alumni Association in the Warren Ballrooms on Feb. 4, gave students the chance to hear life and career advice from successful alumni. Throughout the year, other Cardinal Networking Nights take place in New York City and Albany with offshoots in Boston and Washington D.C. The program will continue to expand to other Northeastern locations.
Advice and Connections
Students were encouraged to ask a career panel of four alumni about their professional experiences. Then they mingled with the alumni during a speed-networking session and social, which allowed students to engage in one-on-one conversations and exchange their information.
Tyler Hargraves, a junior in business administration, management and operations, said talking to alumni helped him realize his future is not solely bound to his current major. "It's important to know where people can go after Plattsburgh. The path you choose now doesn’t have to be the path for the rest of your life."
Career Development Center Director Julia Overton-Healy said that with a turnout of nearly 60 students and alumni, students were able to get a lot out of the experience.
“It was almost a 1:1 ratio, which was really nice,” Healy said, “and allowed for much deeper conversations than I think if there were 80 or 90 people there.”
Healy said immediately following the event, she saw students connecting with alumni on LinkedIn.
Alumni Give Back
In addition to helping students, Cardinal Networking Night provides an opportunity for alumni to give back to the college.
“They can give their talent, time and attention,” she said. “This is a way for alumni to reconnect with the institution, to feel valued, to have a chance to talk with students and strengthen those ties that bind with their alma mater.”
Career Development Services
The Career Development Center will continue to host career-savvy workshops throughout the semester that help students create resumes, practice interviews and brand their online presence. Larger events include the Senior Transition Conference on Feb. 21, which will include an etiquette dinner and presentations from alumni and employers about entering the job market, and a Career Fair April 9 where students can meet a variety of employers from around the state and beyond.
“Take advantage because that’s why we’re here,” Healy said. “We’re here to help.”