Business-Link Professions Program: A Year in ReviewBusiness-Link Professions Program: A Year in Review
Students learn the importance of creating and updating their resumes, a first step toward lining up internships and job offers.

As a first-semester freshman, Rebecca Kabel ’14 learned the importance of creating and updating her resume, a first step toward lining up internships and job offers.

Like all freshmen, she took a “World of Business” class, during which she was introduced to topics such as scheduling her time and building a resume. Then she attended a workshop on resumes offered by the School’s new Business-Link Professions Program. All participants created their own resume, had it reviewed by Career Services and then submitted it to Bethany Kilgore, the School’s professional development coordinator.

“Having a working, adjustable, yet professional resume is essential to being successful in a job search,” said Kabel. “I am now much more prepared for an interview, and more confident in handing out my resume, because I know it is complete.”

She’s benefited from one of the many workshops in the Business-Link Professions Program, which began in the fall 2010 semester with the hiring of Kilgore. The program helps students focus on planning for their careers and professional development.

The 1,721 total contacts to the BLPP office in that first semester included 22 inquiries from alumni and 44 from graduate students. Unique contacts numbered 528, representing 76 percent of the School’s undergraduates and 33 percent of the graduate students.

Students attended BLPP workshops and networking events, emailed with questions, made appointments to speak with Kilgore or just walked into her office looking for advice.

Alexandra DeFonce ’12 already has internship experience. During a semester abroad in London, in spring 2010, she served an internship at HomeSun, helping to launch a solar roofing company. The internship fulfilled her fieldwork experience requirement. Still, she attended Kilgore’s internship workshop last fall to help launch her search for an internship for this summer.

The workshop motivated her to refine her resume, write cover letters, and begin networking, said DeFonce, a marketing and management major. She completed demographic research last spring at HomeSun.

“The internship workshop has given me the courage to reconnect with my employer to ask for a recommendation,” she said. “An internship will not just come to you, but hard work, applying yourself, and charisma will make it happen.”

“The Business-Link Professions Program is playing a key role in our goal of preparing students for the workplace,’’ said Dean Mary Ellen Zuckerman. “Through the programs, activities and resources provided by the BLPP, students are learning key skills that will enable them to successfully identify and secure jobs in the areas that they are interested in.” She also praised the support the Business Advisory Council has provided.

From the LinkedIn workshop, Oren Bennett ’13 took the power of using that social network in his internship search. “It was very beneficial for networking and making contacts,” said Bennett, a business administration major with a finance concentration. Before his interview with Northwestern Mutual in Rochester, he connected with Tom Fishback ’10, who works there. “He gave me a lot of helpful advice,” said Bennett, who’s waiting to learn if he’ll get an offer for this summer.

During the fall, the Business-Link Professions Program office contacted 130 employers, mostly through email. There were 27 contacts about internships, 25 site visits, and 24 campus presentations. The most frequently contacted were KPMG, JPMorgan Asset Management, Ernst & Young, and the fashion house Capelli New York City.

Employers who offered internships ranged from Saks Fifth Avenue and the Dershowitz Group (public relations consultants) in Washington, D.C., to Wegmans supermarket in Ithaca to G2 Direct & Digital, a communications agency, in London.

“The work done by Bethany Kilgore has been excellent,’’ said Zuckerman.

Jason Rozet ’12 has attended almost every BLPP workshop and “gained new insights in effective networking, interviewing, and professional development and growth.” The business administration major concentrating in marketing and management says he’ll apply the lessons to his resume and LinkedIn page, where he will follow more companies, expand his network, and write more recommendations:

“This is valuable because internship and job recruiters are increasingly rating candidates from all aspects – resume, cover letter, first impression, online presence, and more.”

He gives a high recommendation to BLPP and Kilgore’s efforts.

“At Ithaca College there are many opportunities for personal and professional development that students can explore, but the Business-Link Professions Program blows them all away,” Rozet said. “Whether students attend a session with little prior experience or are on their way to becoming experts, Bethany works with each student to ensure they learn something new."

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