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At Fox CSPD’s Spring Connection networking event, preparation is paramount

CSPD Spring Connection 2016 Event PhotoFor students from Temple University’s Fox School of Business, setting oneself apart from the rest could be as simple as starting a conversation.

That’s how more than 600 students and 70 corporate partners engaged with one another at the Spring Connection networking event, held Feb. 10 at Mitten Hall and sponsored by Fox’s Center for Student Professional Development.

“If you were a recruiter sitting on the other side of the table, don’t you want somebody who seems genuinely excited about working for your company to come up to you?” said Corinne Snell, Fox’s Assistant Dean for Student Professional Development. “We want our students to take time to research companies, instead of asking, ‘What does your company do?’ We’ve found that that’s what separates our students apart from others.”

Through Fox CSPD’s Fall and Spring Connection events, students connect with employers who are in need of filling openings for internships and full-time positions.

Students have access to information on companies and their vacant positions through Fox CSPD’s unique FoxNet system, said Megan Panaccio, Fox CSPD’s Director of Corporate Relations.

“It really levels the playing field because students aren’t attracted by what they see on a sign; they’re approaching a company’s table because the students have done their background, they’ve looked up the jobs, and they are really interested in the company,” she said.

Legal Studies major Daniela Carmona, a senior, approached employers at Mitten Hall’s high-top tables with confidence as she discussed her qualifications for a position at Enterprise Holdings, the national car rental service.

CSPD Spring Connection 2016 Event Photo“Talking to Enterprise, I felt really confident,” she said. “It’s just becoming easier and easier to go up to people and not feeling so timid and shy.”

Carmona credited her newfound confidence to a Professional Development Strategies course in which she had enrolled. The course, a prerequisite for being “CSPD’d,” said Panaccio, motivated Carmona to seek out her professional passion.

Panaccio and her Fox CSPD colleagues made it a priority to offer students access to a variety of fields and industries. For some companies in attendance, Fall and Spring Connection events are a way for employers to promote their respective fields of work.

Blueberry, a marketing research firm that offers both quantitative and qualitative services, was another of the companies assigned to the high-top tables. Junior research associate Allison Peterson and head of the qualitative team Kristen Robeson are able to promote the field of qualitative research, which Robison said, is often overlooked.

“I want to get the word out to get people start thinking about it as a career,” Robison said, “and this is a great place to start.”

Back at Enterprise Holdings’ table was one of many Fox alumni. Allison Porembo, who graduated in May 2015 with a degree in Human Resource Management, remembers what it was like to attend Spring Connection. She said CSPD helped bring out skill sets that she already had, but didn’t have on paper.

CSPD Spring Connection 2016 Event Photo“By visiting CSPD, they reminded me of certain skills I could include that I didn’t think would go on my resumé,” Porembo said.

Seeing dynamic interpersonal and professional skills among Fox students was no surprise to Allison Rehmann, talent acquisition manager for Enterprise Holdings, who said the company hires about 30 Temple students a year for internships and full-time positions.

“Each year, I think we are more and more impressed with the student preparation for this event,” she said, “because they come up, introduce themselves and they know exactly what to say.”