Professional Discovery Week is Feb. 13-16

The Student Professional Development Center has organized several programs to help Elon students accelerate their career and graduate school plans.


Want to be more prepared for life after Elon? Not sure how to find jobs or internships or how to put your best foot forward in an interview? Want to know more about potential career options in different fields or need more information on graduate school?

Then don’t miss Professional Discovery Week!

Professional Discovery Week is a series of events scheduled during the week of Feb. 13, 2012, to assist students in the transition from campus to career. Students in all majors will have the opportunity to explore career options, learn effective job search skills and prepare for life after graduation.

All programs are offered free of charge.

Highlights of the week include:

Monday, February 13

How to Work a Room: Networking Step by Step
Co-sponsored by Alpha Kappa Psi, Professional Business Fraternity
6:30-8:30 p.m. in McKinnon Hall

In an uncertain world, one thing is certain – the best way to find a job in today’s economy is through networking; using your connections to make connections. Ellen Baker, MA, is founder of Culture2Culture and is considered by many to be the Triangle’s Networking Guru. She has been featured on WRAL TV and is a frequent contributor to the Raleigh News and Observer. In a hands-on interactive and structured way, Ellen shares all of her valuable networking knowledge and techniques. In this session you will learn: how to leverage the people you know to find the people you need to know; how to create your personal networking database; which questions to ask to create opportunities for yourself; how to “work the room” at a business event and how to maximize the use of on-line networking tools.

Wednesday, February 15

The Interview Reality Show: Tips for Getting the Job You Want
Co-sponsored by the Elon Society for Human Resource Management and Lambda Pi Eta Communications Honor Society
5:30-6:30 p.m. in Koury Business Center 101

Are you prepared for a job interview? Strong interviewing skills are critical for getting the job or internship you want. This panel discussion, conducted by top professionals in their fields, will give you all the information you need to excel in any interview situation. Panelists include: Anne-Marie K. Streeter, MBA, SPHR, Senior Manager, Employee Relations and Compliance, SAS Institute; Jennifer Scrimshaw, CPC, CTS, On-Site Performance Manager, Greene Resources, Inc.; and Iris Austin, Human Resources Business Partner, Volvo.

Thursday, February 16

Life After Elon: Preparing for the Real World
Presented by Anthony Hatcher, Associate Professor, School of Communications
Co-sponsored by Sigma Kappa Sorority
4:30-6 p.m. in Koury Business Center 101

Are you ready to handle your own finances when you leave Elon? Anthony Hatcher, Associate Professor of Communications, will address the practical economics of making a living after graduation. What are all of those mysterious deductions from your paycheck? How will you live on the rest? This session will give you strategies for budgeting for rent, car payments, loan payments, a cell phone, cable, and an internet connection. And then there’s food! Also learn how to determine the cost of living for various areas of the country. For example, a lower salary in North Carolina may bring in more money than a high salary in Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia or New York.

Additional Programs Across Campus

Monday, February 13

How to Win Friends & Influence Your Career! Strategies from School of Communications Alumni
Sponsored by the School of Communications
1:40-3:20 p.m. in McEwen 011

School of Communications alumni representing Fox Searchlight Pictures, CBS Sports, The Independent Weekly and Pace Communications discuss how they landed their first job, how to network and answer audience questions about the job search and other career issues.

A Day in the Life of a Graduate Student
Sponsored by Duke University Graduate School and Elon University
3:30-5 p.m. in Moseley 215

Do you want to know what graduate school is really like? Then attend this informative session to learn about graduate school and to talk with graduate students in your area of interest. The workshop is divided into three parts:

Should I go to graduate school?…3:30 – 3:45 p.m.…brief overview about graduate school provided by Dr. Douglas James, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, Duke University.

What do graduate students do?…3:45 – 4:15 p.m…Day in the Life of a Graduate Student…a panel provided by graduate students from Duke University.

Want to talk with graduate students?…4:15 – 5 p.m…provided by Duke graduate students in the following fields: Biology, Environmental Studies, English, Physics, Molecular Genetics, Cell Biology, Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Genetics and Genomics, Immunology, Microbiology, Political Science, Anthropology, Psychology and Neuroscience, Computer Science, Economics, Nutrition, and Marine Science and Conservation.

For more information, please email Dr. Nancy Harris at

Careers for the Common Good
Sponsored by The Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement
6-7 p.m. in Moseley 215

If you’re interested in a post-graduate job in service, come hear about one and two-year service positions with organizations like AmeriCorps, Teach for America, and Public Allies. Participate in a panel with recruiters and past participants as they recount their own experiences and share what their organizations look for in applicants.

Tuesday, February 14

Marketing Your International Experience to Future Employers & Graduate Schools
Presented by Heidi White, Director of Study Abroad, and Rene’ Jackson, Career Advisor for Graduate School Programs, Elon Office of Career Services

Sponsored by Isabella Cannon International Centre
4:15-5:30 p.m. in McCoy Commons (Oaks) 207

When asked about their international (study abroad, etc) experiences, students often reply “it changed my life” or “it was awesome.” This session is designed to help you learn how to better articulate (through resumes and interview question responses) to future employers and graduate schools the skills and competencies you gained on your international experience – setting you apart from the rest. Please bring a printed copy of your current resume so that you can make notes on it during the session.

Calling vs. Career: Spiritual Influences in Career Decision Making
4:15-5:15 p.m. in the Student Professional Development Center, Moseley Center

What’s the difference between career and calling? What are different religions’ perspectives on the purpose of one’s life in regards to one’s profession? With all the different pressures and influences today, many students struggle to find a balance between pursuing their passions and meeting societal and familial expectations. This interdisciplinary panel explores these topics in detail and examines the role religion and values play in career decision making. Panelists include: L.D. Russell, Lecturer in Religious Studies; Nancy Luberoff, Hillel Campus Director; and Jan Fuller, University Chaplain.

Wednesday, February 15

Building Your Personal Brand with Social Media Tools #getajob
Presented and Sponsored by Teaching and Learning Technologies
5:30-6:30 p.m. in McCoy Commons (Oaks) 207

Is it important to have an online presence? In a 2011 survey, it was determined that 89% of hiring managers review candidates’ professional online information. The same survey indicated that 86% of employers believe a positive online reputation influences their hiring decisions. Have you considered how you can use social media tools to create a professional online identity to market yourself? Let’s re-think how you can use social media to build your personal brand and create an online reputation that you can be proud to show to future employers.

Applying to Graduate School: What to Do and When to Do It — Advice From a Panel of Experts
5:30-6:30 p.m. in McKinnon Hall, Section D

Panelists include: Evan Dillow, representative from Kaplan Test Prep; Dr. Crystal Anderson, professor of English and (two-time) former grad school admissions committee member; Jennifer Medlin, assistant director of graduate admissions at Elon; Dr. Dan Evans, professor of physics, for those who may be interested in graduate programs abroad (what’s the difference?); and Evan Glover, a current Elon senior who has just completed the law school application process. Register to win a voucher redeemable for up to $100 for one graduate school application fee! Drawing to be held immediately following the presentation.

Professions in Psychology
Sponsored by Psi Chi, Psychology Honor Society, and the Psychology Club
7:30-8:30 p.m. in Long 106

Thinking about a career in Psychology? Then attend this panel discussion where professionals in the field discuss their careers and share information on how to be successful.

Careers in Financial Services
Sponsored by the Elon Chapter of the Financial Management Association International
7:30-8:30 p.m. in Koury Business Center 101

For some, choosing a major is hard enough. Deciding what to do after graduation can be even more challenging. In a 2011 survey, 25% of students did not know what to do upon graduating college. Are you determined to graduate with a plan? Come to this session to speak with experienced professionals from accounting and finance backgrounds to learn about what they do and how you can get there. Panelists include: Linda Erickson, CFP, Erickson Advisors; Jeff Blaser, CFP, CIMA, Blaser Investment Management Group, LLC; Tom McGowen, CPA, CFP, Stout, Stuart, McGowen & King, LLP; and Lou Pierce, IV, CLU, ChFC. Please come with questions. A reception will be held following the event in the Koury Business Center lobby.

Thursday, February 16

Careers for English Majors
Sponsored by the English Department
4-5 p.m. in Alamance 305

Want to know more about career options for English majors? Then plan to attend this open forum featuring a former English major who will share her own career experience and offer advice for the transition to life after college. Our guest will be Arwen Varner, a former English major who is currently working in South Carolina at ACS Technologies Group. English faculty will also share their insights and suggestions, mainly related to graduate school.

Biology/Science Career Panel – Highlighting Careers with Science Degrees
Sponsored by the Biology Club & Lincoln Pre-Health Professions Society
4:15-5:30 p.m. in Lindner 102

Individuals from the health professions as well as other biology/science related careers will share their insights about getting a job, what types of experiences were helpful and answer questions from the audience about the current job market.

Practicing Ethical Leadership in Your Job Search
4:15-5:15 p.m. in in McCoy Commons (Oaks) 207

Is accepting a job or internship offer and then reneging on that offer for a better opportunity unprofessional? How does this type of decision affect Elon students, alumni, faculty and staff? This interactive workshop will highlight the importance of facilitating an ethical job search and how to navigate through these scenarios.

Legal Careers – Getting There
Sponsored by Phi Alpha Delta Prelaw Fraternity, Elon Law School, and Elon Career Services
7-8:30 p.m. in the Student Professional Development Center, Moseley

If you think you might be headed to law school, attend this panel presentation to learn important tips about recommended undergraduate coursework and activities, internships, taking the LSAT, and successful law school applications. Panelists include: Sharon Newsome Gaskin, Esq., Associate Dean of Admissions, Elon University School of Law; Chalmers Brumbaugh, Professor of Political Science; and Nim Batchelor, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Pre-Law Advisor.

If you have any questions, please contact the Student Professional Development Center – Office of Career Services at 336-278-6538 or by email at