Communications fair offers networking with area professionals

BY KAYLA VAN EPS
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Networking and making connections with professionals can be a challenge for students seeking internships and jobs in their field.

These connections are vital to getting a job in the competitive job market, and many students don’t know where to start.

To help students make these important connections, the Career Development Center and the College of Arts, Media and Communication held a networking event called “Careers in Communication and Media” last Tuesday.

Sarah Miller, director of the Career Development Center, hosted a Q and A session with eight local communications professionals whose careers ranged from public relations to magazine advertising to broadcast journalism.

Alec Winmill, a social media and marketing specialist for Titan Machinery in Fargo, said he wouldn’t have his job if it weren’t for networking. A friend of his who worked at Titan Machinery recommended Winmill for the job.

The toughest part of his job is finding new ways to reach potential customers who may not access or use social media regularly and keeping in touch with current customers.

Panelists shared what they liked most about their jobs, what they found most challenging, how they found their job and what influenced them to go into the communications field.

Krista Boehm, a fall 2013 graduate of MSUM and reporter for KVRR, enjoys the challenge of having a different assignment every day.

“The other day I reported on an area woman who makes her own yarn from alpaca wool,” Boehm said. “I thought it would be a boring story, but it turns out that making yarn is a way cooler process than it sounds. My challenge is to tell the story to our viewers as if they were there, so they get the same experience I did.”

After the Q and A session, professionals were sent to the student tables in what Miller called speed networking. It’s like speed dating but for networking and making contacts with professionals in the field.

Students sat in tables of seven to eight people and met with a visiting communication professional for about seven minutes before Miller called for the professionals to switch tables. Students had the opportunity to ask any questions they had and got to know the area professionals. About 90 students attended and met with about 12 area communications professionals.

Companies represented were Flint Communications, Titan Machinery, Sundog, the Fargo Theatre, KVRR, On the Mind of Moms, the Fargo-Moorhead Economic Development Corporation, here.com and MSUM.

For more information on careers, networking or searching and preparing to apply for future jobs, visit the Career Development Center located in Frick 151.

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