Last Tuesday the Bridgewater State University (BSU) American Marketing Association and The Office for Regional Partnerships held a Round Table discussion in the RCC Ballroom titled “What do employers really want from college grads?”
The event’s panel held eleven executive guest-speakers, including CEOs, Vice Presidents, and Executive Directors of successful, large companies.
The event began by the panelists introducing themselves and their respective backgrounds, while briefly discussing what employers look for in college graduates. After which, the floor was opened up to questions from the audience.
Participants could ask their questions either vocally or through Twitter, using the hashtags #BSUAMADiscussion, which were projected on the big screen at the front of the room.
After the panel discussion, attendees had three 15-20 minute shifts in which they got to speak with some of the executives who were seated at each table. After the time was up, the executives shifted to the next table, giving the audience a chance to speak with three new executives.
Charles Frodigh, Co-President of BSU AMA, said that all of the questions “were very skillfully addressed by each and every panelist [and] those in attendance seemed to find all aspects of the event interesting and very informative!”
“[AMA] offers events such as this to provide our students with the opportunity to meet top executives from various organizations throughout the region,” said Kathleen FerrisCosta, faculty advisor of the AMA. “We are very fortunate they were willing to share their experiences and knowledge with our students.”
One of the things that the executives stated as being very important when evaluating graduates for employment, was relevant work experience.
“It shows that they are familiar with the industry, know they enjoy working in the chosen field and are able to balance both work and school—an indication of good time management skills,” said FerrisCosta.
After the event, several of the executives showed an interest in working with the students and inquired about the possibility of providing internships that would be mutually beneficial to both the students and the executives’ organizations.
“An internship is the perfect time for a student to ‘test drive’ a particular field of interest and confirm if it is a good fit or if another area of interest may be a better option,” said FerrisCosta.
“This was a great opportunity for stress-free networking for students,” said Diane Jennings, the Director of Regional Partnerships. “The executives were delighted to have the opportunity to give advice, and were very interested in students as potential interns and employees. These executives, who are our partners, hope to be able to do this again soon.”
The Dean of the RCOB, Elmore Alexander, said, “This was an exciting program bringing students together with actual business professionals. Programs like this are one of the ways that we prepare our students for the challenges that they will face in the work world.”
“We’d like to thank all those that attended and especially give our thanks to the business executives who graciously donated their time to share their valuable experiences and insights,” said Frodigh.
The BSU AMA and the Office for Regional Partnerships are planning a similar event for next semester, as many in attendance found the insight given by the executives to be extremely valuable.
The American Marketing Association at Bridgewater State University is a student-run chapter of a national organization that provides numerous opportunities for student resume-building and professional development.
All BSU students are invited to AMA’s “Attacking Your Future,” every Monday at 5 p.m. in RCC 212. Please contact Charles Frodigh at email@example.com, for more information.
Kevin Burke is the Content Editor for The Comment newspaper. Follow him on Twitter at @Ke7inBurke.