Now in its second year, Professions Week provides Ithaca College students with the opportunity to connect with the School of Business’ alumni network.
Lisa Famularo ’16 developed the idea for Professions Week during her junior year as a class project for a “Leadership and Collaboration” course. Her concept addressed the needs of the School of Business community, which lacked resources for business students to explore their major in depth.
Students, faculty and alumni gather outside the trading room during Professions Week.
“Even though the students in the School of Business have declared business as their major, the concentrations that the school offers do not reflect all the options in the business industries,” Famularo said.
With her group, Famularo worked to develop her concept for the campus community through a series of events and panels designed to highlight professional and career options for students.
Although many of the events last year consisted of alumni speaking about their professional experiences, the week’s programs also included a trivia game in which students could learn about different industries within the business field, as well as a game that taught students how to tie a tie for the sake of discussing professional dress.
Paula Perna, the business school’s external relations program director and one of the coordinators of Professions Week, says the event helps students to better prepare for success in today’s competitive job market.
“Employers today are not just looking for college graduates that have strong academic backgrounds,” said Perna. “They want employees that have the ‘soft skills’ as well, such as the ability to work on a team, strong communication skills and leadership experience.”
Bob Iger, left, speaks during a Professions Week event at Ithaca College on Oct. 26, 2016.
This year, the second annual Professions Week was held from Oct. 23–28. It included a wide range of events, including a symposium on careers in sports; seminar on personal branding strategies conducted by Assistant Professor Lin Humphrey; panel discussions on diversity in human resources and women in business; and workshops on networking and securing internships. There was also a special keynote event with Disney CEO Bob Iger ’73.
Famularo herself was on hand to close out the week by leading a discussion about attending graduate school.
“We want to try to help students intentionally choose the next step of their career journey,” said Famularo.