Saturday Symposium to provide students opportunity for professional development

Daniel Kington
October 18, 2016

The second annual Saturday Professional Development Symposium, October 22 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., offers students an immersive and focused opportunity to listen to peers and professors share their two cents on topics ranging from developing an elevator pitch to negotiating a salary. This year’s free event will be co-hosted by the George Voinovich School Alumni Society and the African Studies Alumni and Friends Network. The event will take place at Baker University Center in rooms 240/242.

Evie Roberts, a second-year Master of Public Administration candidate and the interim president of the Voinovich Future Leaders student group, has been involved in planning the event and getting the word out to students. Roberts said she hopes to personally utilize the information she learns on Saturday in the near future.

“The Voinovich School Alumni Society and its partners have been working hard for months to plan the Symposium and I have no doubt that what I learn next Saturday will directly impact my job hunt in the spring,” she said.

The day will begin with coffee and opening remarks before participants plunge into a series of in-depth breakout sessions, in which they may choose to attend one of two sessions. Sessions will include:

  • Finding an Internship
  • What Do Employers Want?
  • Strategic Academic and Career Planning
  • Accepting a Job Offer and Negotiating a Salary
  • Online Etiquette and Networking
  • Working in a Diverse Environment

Between the second and final breakout sessions, lunch will be provided and Julia Paxton will present her keynote speech. Paxton is an associate professor of economics at Ohio University, a position she has held since 2000. Paxton also works as an international microfinance consultant and has received numerous teaching awards.

Bose Maposa, a Voinovich School graduate and the assistant director of the African Studies Program at Ohio University, is participating in the organizing team for the event and said that Paxton is uniquely qualified to connect to the experience of the students and alumni at the event.

“Her experience working locally, nationally and internationally will be valuable not only to those interested in public affairs and sustainability but also those interested in international studies, development and leadership in general,” Maposa said. “The organizing team was also impressed with her work and role as director of the Center for Campus and Community Engagement; we see this as a way to connect students, who might otherwise be just involved with the university, with the Athens community at large.”

To close out the day, OHIO alum Rob Painter, the managing director at Razor’s Edge Ventures and an advisor/investor in early-stage, venture-backed Silicon Valley companies, will present on meaningful networking and developing an elevator pitch.

Evie Roberts said she was particularly looking forward to Painter’s presentation.

“We'll have attendees from international studies, public administration, environmental studies, communication and other areas, and with his experiences, it sounds like Rob will be able to speak to most everyone's interests,” Roberts said.

Painter’s talk will be followed by a reception and an opportunity for networking among participants.

Roberts said she encourages all interested Voinovich School students and alumni to attend the event.

“The Saturday Symposium is a chance for students to gain practical information that will advance their professional and academic development skills,” she said. “Whether you're looking for advice on salary negotiation, grad school applications, or internship placement, you'll be able to find information on those topics and more at the Symposium from Bobcats who have used those tips to succeed in their chosen field.”

Participants are encouraged to wear business casual attire, as a professional photographer will be present to take head shots for all those interested. RSVP is required. To find out more information or to RSVP, click here