Business Week, an annual event in the University’s College of Business, offers students events to connect with other business students and network with professionals from companies in Reno and beyond.
This year’s Business Week, which had the theme “Business is Beautiful,” included a kick-off BBQ with Microsoft, a networking event coordinated by ZLINE Kitchen and Bath, ITS Logistics, Elemental LED and Northwestern Mutual from the Business Student Council AND Career and Corporate Contact Center, and a virtual session with a State Department recruiter about foreign embassy opportunities.
Jim McClenahan, the College’s director of corporate relations, helped coordinate networking opportunities during Business Week. He encouraged students to start building a professional network early in their college careers.
“A person’s network is the most valuable asset they have,” McClenahan said. “The first job they have is likely because they attended a networking event.”
The week also included a pop-up event for a recently revived Student Business Council initiative: the Student Professional Closet. Having professional business attire helps build the confidence needed to successfully connect with potential employers.
Serene Townsell, an accounting and human development and family studies major in the Business Student Council, learned of the program’s previous existence before the COVID-19 pandemic. She and Clayton Greb, another member of the Student Business Council, talked to alumni involved with the initiative and researched similar programs at other schools to figure out what needed to be done to restart it.
“Being on campus for a couple of years, I’ve seen a need for it,” Townsell said. “It’s not just for interviews, but to help students have clothes that make them feel like they belong where they’re working.”
The closet runs entirely on donations collected during drives and in a drop box in the Ansari Business Building room 409. The first two drives took place on September 22 and 23, a week before the show. There was also a donation bin and shelf in the Eide Bailly LLP office.
In total, 177 items were donated for the first pop-up event. Students visited the closet during the pop-up event during business week, where they could pick up any outfit they wanted, completely free.
Ryan Jones, an information systems specialist, visited the closet’s first pop-up event.
“The clothes I received will help tremendously in trying to find a job in my field,” Jones said. “They’re incredibly important for job interviews and prospects, but they also make you feel not only dressed for success, but generally ready to embark on your journey into the professional world.”
Jones hopes to work in cybersecurity or network support after graduating at the end of the spring 2023 semester.
The next pop-up event will be on October 12th from 11am to 2pm in the Joe Crowley Student Union Ballrooms. It will be part of the Get Ready for the Fair event, where students can also get free headshots, mock interview practice and resume critiques to prepare for the College’s career fair.
“I would recommend this event to a friend or anyone on campus as it is a great opportunity and helps save a ton of money,” Jones said.
The closet received support from the Nevada Career Studio at the University and the Career and Corporate Outreach Center in the College of Business, as well as Eide Bailly LLP. In the future, the Student Business Council hopes to expand the program with the support of more partners in the Reno/Sparks area.
“We are grateful to Dean Mosier, Jim McClenahan, Jen Nelson, Aqueelah Thompson, Nicole Becker, Indigo Hinojos, Pack Provisions, Joe Crowley, the Multicultural Center, generous donors and other campus administrators who have helped us in many ways,” Townsell . said. “We are looking forward to the partnerships that will be made soon!”
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