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Career Center hosts skills conference for seniors

Published: Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Updated: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 01:02

Career Fair

Meredith Klein/The Tufts Daily Archives

Tufts Career Center hosted a new conference for seniors to develop professional networking, interviewing and etiquette skills last Saturday in the Cabot Intercultural Center.

The all-day event, titled “Senior Launch,” was meant to provide seniors an opportunity to learn important workplace skills, according to Donna Milmore, the event’s organizer and an assistant director of career services.

“The goal was to put together a day of learning that would be relevant for seniors regardless of where [they were going to be] and what they were going to be doing next year,” she said. 

The event was not catered to a specific subset of seniors as the skills taught at the event would be beneficial for students on any career path, Milmore said. 

“Whether you are working in health care, or you’re at a non-profit or you’re at an investment bank, you’re still going to have to figure out how to use social media, you’re going to have to figure out how to manage your finances completely independently for the first time [and] you’re going to need to know how to navigate the workplace, understand the culture,” Milmore said.

The event consisted of a keynote speech from LinkedIn Evangelist John Hill as well as various panels on networking, interviewing and personal finance, Director of Career Services Jean Papalia explained. Both Hill and the personal finance speaker received great reviews, according to Papalia and Milmore.

“We have been sensing that seniors wanted this kind of information and we weren’t equipped to tell them how to balance their budgets so we rather bring somebody in to talk about that,” Papalia said.

Senior Aliandro Brathwaite attended the event and commended the speaker on connecting well with the students.

“The presenter was very witty,” he said. “He connected with us on quite a few levels
 and he told us a lot of secrets to get ready not only for managing our finances in the few years after we graduate, but
also making sure that we have savings plans available for when we eventually retire.”

Because of its focus and conference structure, the event was different from other offerings for seniors, Milmore explained. Overall, Senior Launch was successful, according to Milmore. The Career Center plans to repeat it annually, she said.  

More than 50 percent of attendees submitted evaluations within 36 hours of the event, according to Milmore.

“About 125 students attended on a Saturday for a full day which was a big commitment — it exceeded our initial expectations,” Milmore said. “I think we’re hearing that students would think it’s a good idea to do it annually.”

Brathwaite agreed that the event was successful and helpful for seniors.

“I thought it was a fantastic event — it was very well run,” he said. “I think the best part about the event was how we would be able to apply basically everything that they were talking about to our lives if we wanted to after Tufts. They were very relevant presentations.”

Milmore and Papalia also mentioned two career events that will take place today. The Career Center will host the Science and Technology Fair from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Gantcher Center, and an internship fair from 5 to 7 p.m. in the same location.

Because the events have more space this year in Gantcher Center, the fairs are expanded from last year to include additional employers due, according to Milmore. She also said that a LinkedIn photo booth will be available at both events for students to get a professional picture taken for their online profiles.

“The SciTech Fair [has], I think, doubled and the internship has a lot more employers coming,” she said. 

Students can find additional information about the fairs and employers that will be attending on the Career Center website.

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