Students given career insight by professionals at Business Bermuda’s College Student Networking Event
The Royal Gazette Jul 26 2010
By Jonathan Kent
Hundreds of students gained some face-to-face advice from professionals in a major careers event staged by Business Bermuda. Almost 500 people attended the College Student Networking Event at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess hotel. More than 200 students had pre-registered online, with a similar number of business professionals giving their time to have quick-fire, four-minute conversations with the youngsters. More students arrived on the day to swell the attendance for Thursday evening’s event.
“The feedback we have received from the professionals about the students who attended has been extremely positive,” said Business Bermuda chief executive officer Cheryl Packwood. ”They were thoroughly impressed with the high calibre of the students, which seems to get higher each year. ”Bermuda’s young people are really embracing this event with some even asking that this annual event be held more frequently.” The Harbourview Ballroom acted as the hub for general networking activity, and played host to 27 exhibit booths from companies and professional organisations, covering a variety of industries. Speed networking and career seminars rounded out the evening’s programme. One professional attendee commented: “The event has grown so much over the years. The increase in the number of exhibit booths and rooms used as breakout areas really changes the scale of the event. ”The College Student Networking Event is of such a high quality that it could compete with any career event internationally.” Premier Ewart Brown opened the event and introduced the main speaker, Damon Wade, executive vice-president and general manager of Bermuda Gas and Utility Company Ltd. Mr. Wade shared details of his background and milestone events in his career. He urged students to learn how to recognise opportunities, to be prepared for them and to seize them. Expertise Ltd. ran the career seminars that were well attended. Facilitator Melody Smith said: “The students were really engaged and asked some very good, relevant questions. The judging for the prize to win an iPad, an Xbox 360 and a $200 Amazon gift voucher was tough as so many students were worthy of winning. ”We are also currently looking through the resumes submitted to win another of the prize categories, ‘Best first impression of resume’ and again the standard is very high indeed and seems to improve each year.” The popular speed networking session paired 90 students with 90 professionals. ”There was a very positive atmosphere in the speed networking room. The students always look terrified at the start, but they seemed to get into the swing of it and put their best foot forward,” Ms Packwood said. ”We are counting up the scores at the moment to find our prize-winner. We thank all the professionals who attended the speed networking session.” Governor Sir Richard Gozney and Attorney General Kim Wilson were among those who interviewed students. ”The College Student Networking Event is a huge undertaking and took several months of diligent planning,” Ms Packwood added. ”The organisation was spearheaded by Rebecca Davies at Aardvark Communications, and I would like to thank her publicly for ensuring the success of this year’s event.” Prize winners will be notified by e-mail in early August, and will be invited to attend a prize-giving ceremony at a future date. See Nathan Kowalski’s column on Page 32.