While in its 28th year, the School of Design and Human Environment’s (SDHE) Career Symposium is constantly evolving to bring students the most relevant and valuable career opportunities.
Last year was the first time the symposium was entirely student-run, and this year Sandy Burnett, SDHE senior instructor and internship coordinator, took it one step further by developing a for-credit class to manage the entire event.
“We had 15 students enrolled in the class, and they took on the entire project, encompassing all aspects of the event planning, from securing speakers and sponsorships, to the layout, to the design and content of the event materials and marketing,” said Burnett.
In addition to the event providing networking opportunities and sessions run by alumni, business partners and other industry professionals, it also adds the opportunity for students enrolled in the class to plan and execute the event, enhancing the experiential learning aspect of the day.
“We were split into five committees and managing across those groups got a bit tricky at times, but we were able to pull it off,” said Rachel Draper, a senior apparel and merchandising management double major.
The ballroom of the CH2M HILL Alumni Center was the center stage for the event, where companies and industry representatives set up booths for networking. Students perused the room, talking with employers about their companies, career and internship opportunities.
Mixed throughout the morning were various breakout sessions led by alumni, business partners and industry representatives. Sessions titled “Work in Progress” featured alumni of the various degree programs, who talked about what they are doing now. Sessions titled “What you can do with your degree” featured representatives that talked about various career opportunities associated with their respective fields.
Angela Snow, an alumna and Managing Director of Design and Operations at Nike, presented “Designing for Tomorrow’s Business,” where she discussed Nike’s story, and how they initially set out simply to sell better shoes; and never considered they’d be as ambitious as a “design” company.
At the end of the day, both students and Sandy Burnett were thrilled with how the day turned out.
“This is the main networking event for students and employers. It’s so cool to see students back here after going through the program and now recruiting,” said Burnett.