College of Business & Technology

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Professional Development Series • September 11 - 22, 2017

The Professional Development Series is one of the many ways administrators, faculty, staff, employers, alumni, and the community support the personal and professional growth of CBT students. The series offers an array of sessions to CBT students in order to prepare them for the job search and a successful career in business. Students have an opportunity to attend sessions on networking, professional dress, résumé building, interviewing, social media, dining etiquette, leadership, and student organization involvement. Students can also interact with CBT alumni and employers during panel discussions.

students talking

Registration Information

Space is limited. To secure your seat, register today!

Additional Information

  • Please be sure to bring your WIU ID to each session to record your attendance.
  • University photographers and videographers will be present at many of the College of Business and Technology Professional Development Series sessions. By registering, you are agreeing to the use of your photo as a participant for use in all forms of media (including the Internet). If you prefer to not have your image used, kindly let the photographer or videographer present know.


Becky Mahr, Coordinator - CBT Professional Development Series
Office: Stipes Hall 414N
Phone: (309) 298-1430

Professional Development Series Schedule

Updates to the schedule will be posted as they become available.

Monday, September 11

Dress for Success

Presented by Shanna M. Bruer Hess, Assistant Professor; WIU Management and Marketing; and Jonathan Devereueawax, Instructor; WIU Economics and Decision Sciences

"You never get a second chance to make a first impression." How you present yourself is a significant factor in creating your personal and your company's image. Your professional presence, the way you come across to others, is created by the way you dress and groom yourself. An appropriate appearance demonstrates respect for you, others, and the situation. This workshop will help you ensure that your image and the first impression you create is “polished!”

  • 2:00 - 2:50 p.m.
    Women: Stipes Hall 121
    Men: Stipes Hall 122

Tuesday, September 12

The Art of Networking

Presented by Laura Swanson Leezer, Senior Vice President and Corporate Business Development, Citizens Bank

Networking is one of the most important, if not the most important, activities that job-seekers and business professionals need to master to be truly successful. Networking is about building relationships by learning things about other people. If you want to be good at networking, be interested in people. Learn what to ask and what not to ask. Then watch your circle of friends and acquaintances grow as you put these skills to work at the Networking Social.

  • 3:00 - 4:45 p.m., Stipes Hall 501
  • Professional Dress Preferred/Casual Business Dress Acceptable – No Jeans or Shorts
Networking Social

This networking event is the jumping-off point for starting professional relationships. Take advantage of this opportunity to practice your networking skills with community business leaders. One connection can open many doors.

  • 5:00 p.m., Stipes Hall 501
    (Light Refreshment Provided)
  • Professional Dress Preferred/Casual Business Dress Acceptable – No Jeans or Shorts

Wednesday, September 13

Business Boot Camp - Starting Your Own Business

Presented by Jim Boyd, Director; Small Business Development Center

So you want to start a business – congratulations!  Entrepreneurship is a journey that requires a lot of time, effort, and hard work. Once you get over the initial excitement, it’s time to break down the process of launching your startup into various stages. This presentation will introduce the key steps to starting and running a business.

  • 12:00 - 12:50 p.m., Stipes Hall 121
  • 1:00 - 1:50 p.m., Stipes Hall 121

Thursday, September 14

Job Search and Career Fair Tips

Presented by Michelle Howe, Assistant Director; WIU Career Development Center

Today’s job search is rapidly evolving with the usage of social media and the ever-changing nature of careers in our current economy. Discover current job search techniques and career fair tips for success.

  • 9:30 - 10:45 a.m., Stipes Hall 121
  • 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m., Stipes Hall 121
Etiquette Dinner

Presented by Susan Creasey, Assistant Professor, WIU Management and Marketing Department

If your dining includes a drive-thru, couch, or TV, you probably need a refresher course in proper etiquette at the table. Table manners play an important part in making a favorable impression. The purpose of the etiquette dinner is to make you feel comfortable, not uncomfortable. Dining etiquette is based on courtesy, comfort, and common sense, providing a tool to help you interact with others.

Reservations Required - Professional Dress Required

Cost: $10. Pay with cash or check and register at time of payment in the College of Business and Technology (CBT) Dean's office in Stipes Hall 101.

  • 5:00 - 7:00 p.m., University Union Lamoine Room

Monday, September 18

Make a Name for Yourself – Build Your Personal Brand

Presented by Ryan Riggins, Assistant Vice President-Lending, MidAmerica National Bank

The most important job that you have today is to be the president of your own brand. Developing your personal brand is a way to control your career development and how you are perceived in the marketplace. The way that you express and communicate your skills, personality, and values will impact your ability to get a job and to get promoted. Learn what you should do now to build a positive personal brand.

  • 9:00 - 9:50 a.m., Stipes Hall 121
  • 10:00 a.m. - 10:50 p.m., Stipes Hall 121
Surviving Your First Day at a New Job

Presented by Bruce Western, Instructor; WIU Management and Marketing

The first day at your new job may be among the most memorable, and perhaps stressful, of your career. From figuring out what to wear to remembering where your new cubicle is located, all while trying to learn the ropes and make a good first impression on your new boss and co-workers, your first day at a new job can be absolutely terrifying. Take a proactive approach and thrive. The first day sets the tone for the rest of your career. Learn what you should do on the first day of your new job.

  • 2:00 - 2:50 p.m., Stipes Hall 121

Tuesday, September 19

Get Ready to Retire

Presented by Lauren Barrett and Leah O’Neill, Financial Advisors; Wells Fargo Advisors

College students and recent graduates face particular challenges in saving and planning for retirement. Daunting student loans, a still-uncertain job market, and competition for jobs may all seem far more pressing than preparing for retirement; but that doesn't mean post-career planning should be put to the wayside. Here's what college students should know about retirement: Make a plan now and start saving! Learn what you can do today to prepare for retirement. Note: Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC.

  • 12:30 - 1:45 p.m., Stipes Hall 121
Conflict Management

Presented by Karen Sears, Ph.D.; WIU Department of Psychology

Wherever there are people, there always will be conflict. People have to deal with conflict in the workplace every day. Expect to explore a variety of aspects about conflict that happens in the workplace.  Topics include the general nature of conflict, assessing one's own conflict response style, unproductive conflict behaviors, and formal institutional strategies for addressing severe or ongoing forms of organizational dispute.

  • 2:00 - 3:15 p.m., Stipes Hall 121

Wednesday, September 20

Phone Etiquette and Preparing for Phone Interviews

Presented by Norm Newman, General Manager, and Jason Gardner, Recruiter; C.H. Robinson

Ring! Ring! Become comfortable talking with people over the phone and making them feel comfortable talking with you. Whether the call is personal or business related, mastering telephone etiquette is vital for individual and organizational worth as well as driving business growth.

  • 11:00 - 11:50 a.m., Stipes Hall 121
Meet the Firms

Meet the Firms is a unique career fair in which students majoring in accountancy, finance, and information systems have an opportunity to speak one on one with employers who are specifically looking to fill job openings and internships in these disciplines. This event provides a great opportunity for students to network with firm representatives. For more information and registration, visit the BAP Meet the Firms web page.

  • 1:00 - 4:00 p.m., University Union Brattain Lounge
Supply Chain Management Day

This event includes an afternoon of informal meet-and-greet opportunities with company representatives. The day also includes presentations by many industry leaders in the Supply Chain Management field with information about possible career and internship opportunities. For more information and registration, visit the SCM Day web page.

  • SCM Career Fair: 1:30 - 4:30 p.m., University Union Grand Ballroom
  • Dinner with employer representatives, students, and faculty/staff, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m., University Union Lamoine Room (Reservations Required)

Thursday, September 21

Engineering Technology Employer Panel

Engineering, Engineering Technology, Construction Management, Graphic Communication, and Instructional Design Technology Focused

Join a group of employers for a panel discussion about what they look for in a successful engineering, engineering technology, construction management, graphic communication, and/or instructional design technology candidate. Take advantage of this opportunity to get the information you need to be successful in your job search!

  • 12:00 - 12:50 p.m., Knoblauch Hall 105
School of Agriculture Alumni/Employer Panel

Take advantage of this opportunity to connect with career professionals who can inspire you and give you insider tips for career success in the agricultural field. Learn what they recommend you do now to be prepared for your job search.

  • Jennifer Beard, President/COO; Farmers State Bank
  • Richard Horner, Financial Representative, COUNTRY Financial; Owner/Operator, Horner Show Lambs
  • Rock Katschnig, Agricultural Producer; K Farms
  • Faith Lois, Sales Associate, Precision Ag Specialist, Agronomist; James Cowan Agency
  • Brian Sprinkle, Technical Applications Supervisor; CN Utility Consulting 
  • 3:00 - 4:45 p.m., Stipes Hall 121

Friday, September 22

Professional Development Series Celebration

Enjoy free treats as we celebrate the success of the 2017 College of Business and Technology Professional Development Series!

  • Stipes Hall Lobby
  • Time: TBD