Love School of Business holds 4th annual professional development conference for sophomores

The Martha and Spencer Love School of Business hosted the fourth LSB Connect Conference for sophomores on Sept. 27. 

The LSB Connect Conference, sponsored by the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business and the Porter Family Professional Development Center, focused on professional development for sophomores as the students begin to search for internships and future career opportunities. The Sept. 27 event included educational seminars on professional dress and public speaking, an etiquette luncheon and networking with employers.

The main focus of the conference was to equip students with the skills necessary to compete in a demanding workforce. Students gained knowledge of various career paths related to business, networking experience and increased self-awareness through the variety of sessions.

Raghu Tadepalli, dean of the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business, welcomed the students with a short introduction to the conference. “We can give you a gentle push,” he said, “but you need to do the running.”

The sessions started with “From Backpack to Briefcase: The Transition into the Workforce,” a presentation by Maribeth Hudgins and Mary Margaret Hart from DressCode. They spoke on how to dress professionally for the varying fields of business.

“Understanding where you’re working is going to impact the pieces you choose when you go there,” Hart said.

Hart and Hudgins emphasized that graduates must understand that partnered with their technical expertise, it is essential to build a personal brand in order to be competitive in a changing workplace.

Hart also facilitated an etiquette lunch, in which she gave students lessons on how to present themselves on an interview or business meeting that involved a meal. In a step-by-step process, she touched on some of the main etiquette points including best options to order, body language and paying the bill.

Gary Tomlinson of Tomlinson & Associates presented “The Art of Telling,” which gave guidance to students on how to be a good communicator. “It’s about your message and about your audience hearing your message,” Tomlinson said. He talked about the traits of effective speakers and emphasized, “If you’re not a good messenger, no one’s going to hear you.”​

Following the speaker sessions, the students participated in round-table discussions with employers, discussing internships, jobs and job searching. Employers offered career and educational advice. The day concluded with the students practicing their networking skills at a reception with employers.

The round-table discussions were led by:

  • Juan Arrieta ’06, The Clorox Company
  • Ian Baltutis ’08, Vibration Solutions LLC & Isolate It
  • •David Campbell ’13, Ernst & Young
  • Kelly Cavanaugh ’13, Ethicon
  • Evan Cianchette ’14, Vanguard
  • Alex Dempsey ’12, York Capital Investment
  • Matt Gillette ’11, Bank of America Corporation
  • Christine Mavraganis ’13, Allscripts Healthcare Solutions
  • Gary Tomlinson, Tomlinson and Associates
  • Chris Welch ’13, Live Oak Bank

“The skills I gained at the LSB Connect Conference will be invaluable in my search for a summer internship and eventually in my search for rewarding employment,” said Stephanie Bedard ’17. “Through the LSB Connect Conference, I learned how to dress professionally for a variety of industries and how to give an effective and memorable presentation. All LSB students should make it a point to attend the conference as a sophomore.”​