College of Business & Technology

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Professional Development Series • September 9 - 18, 2019

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.


Bruce Western, Coordinator - CBT Professional Development Series
Office: Stipes Hall 414N
Phone: (309) 298-1535

Event Schedule

Digital Footprints Matter • Monday, September 9

Presented by Jill Joline Myers, J.D., Director, School of LEJA, Western Illinois University

Your digital footprint paints a portrait of who you are to the world. Make sure it conveys your true image, values and work ethic. Your digital footprint is not only formed by what you post, but also what others put online about you. As you move into the job market be aware that perception is reality. This session will help you strategize to create a positive digital footprint and to market yourself successfully.

  • 8:00 - 8:50 a.m., Stipes Hall 121

Going Up? Learn How to Create and Present Your Elevator Speech • Monday, September 9

Presented by Aaron Littig, Corporate Recruiter, Dot Foods, Inc.

Having an effective elevator speech can land you that dream job! What should I say? What should I not say? How long should it be? What do employers what to hear? Learn the steps you should consider as you determine how to sell yourself to prospective employers.

Two Sessions:

  • 11:00-11:50 a.m., Stipes Hall 121
  • 12:00-12:50 p.m., Stipes Hall 121

Understanding Different Aspects of Personal Finances • Monday, September 9

Presented by Todd Lester, Community President, Citizens Bank (a division of Morton Community Bank)

We will explore everything from the importance of creating a budget, saving early for retirement, maintaining good credit, credit scores and what they mean, how to read a credit report and more. As you embark upon your professional career, you won't want to miss these suggestions.

  • 1:00-1:50 pm., Stipes Hall 121

The Art of Networking • Monday, September 9

Presented by Cathy Onion, Assistant Professor, Marketing and Management, Western Illinois University

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 at 5 pm.

  • 3:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. – Stipes 501
  • Professional Dress Preferred/Casual Business Dress Acceptable – No Jeans or Shorts

Networking Social • Monday, September 9

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 p.m. – Stipes 501 (Light Refreshments Provided)
  • Professional Dress Preferred/Casual Business Dress Acceptable – No Jeans or Shorts

Career Flexibility and Behavioral Interviewing • Tuesday, September 10

Presented by Wade Watson, Senior Supplier Development Engineer, and Amy Zank, Material Flow Operations Manager, John Deere

A business degree doesn't usually lend itself to a straight-line career – the willingness to move laterally within a department, company or industry can provide a multitude of benefits to you as an individual and to your employer. In the first part of this session, Mr. Watson and Ms. Zank will share their personal experiences and lessons learned through various roles.

STAR stands for: Situation/Task, Action, Result. Deere is one of the many companies that uses the behavioral interview method to select the right candidate for the job. In this session, the presenters will explain the STAR method including real life examples of questions, as well as strategies for preparing and formulating your answers.

Two Sessions:

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

Engineering, Engineering Technology, Construction Management, Graphic
Communication, and Instructional Design Technology/Employer Panel • Tuesday, September 10

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 gain information from these professionals with what you need to be successful in your job search.

  • 12:00 - 12:50 p.m., Knoblauch Hall 105

Civic Engagement for Better Businesses and Stronger Communities • Tuesday, September 10

There are many reasons to be involved in your community as a volunteer, philanthropist, or leader. We know that it makes us feel good, we know it helps our neighbors and we know it grows our communities. But engagement can also be a powerful tool to develop personal skills in leadership and communication, to build connections with future customers and clients, and to create an environment beyond your office where people WANT to do business. In this session, we'll discuss the highlights of civic engagement and its connection to savvy marketing techniques.

  • 2:00 - 2:50 p.m., Stipes Hall 121

The Importance of Finding Good Mentors in the Workplace & Having a Personal "Board of Directors" • Wednesday, September 11

Presented by Megan Opiekun, Manager of Intermodal Containers, Archer Daniels Midland

As a college student and soon to be a working professional, you'll need to find mentors to help guide you on this new journey. Mentors will listen and give you direction as they have traveled down these roads before you. Come join this session to find out why mentors are important, how to build your personal board of directors and how to be a mentor.

Two Sessions:

  • 9:00 - 9:50 a.m., Stipes Hall 121
  • 10:00 - 10:50 a.m., Stipes Hall 121

I Want To Start My Own Business, But How Do I Get Started? • Wednesday, September 11

Presented by Beau Ingledue, Managing Partner of Purdum Gray Ingledue Beck, Inc./Owner, Forgottonia Brewing

So you have an idea for a business, now what? WIU Alum, Beau Ingledue, will discuss his experience of starting a new business while continuing to remain committed to his primary occupation. Mr. Ingledue will cover the process of exploring the idea of starting a brewery in Macomb, and the steps he and his business partners took resulting in opening their business, Forgottonia Brewing. The focus of this session will be what factors need to be considered, how to prepare, and what resources are available to assist in the process of starting a business.

  • 2:00 - 2:50 p.m., Stipes Hall 121

Etiquette Dinner • • Wednesday, September 11

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.

Cost is $10 and reservations are required - 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.

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

Ms. Communication - Emailing, Texting, and Chatting in the Corporate World • Thursday, September 12

Presented by Michelle Howe, Instructor in Management & Marketing Department

Have you ever stared at your computer or phone screen wondering how to best write an email? Is it appropriate to text your coworker at 11:00 p.m. concerning a work project? This session will address the common channels of communication in the workplace and when to use them. You will also learn proper email techniques to ensure your message is clear, concise, and correct.

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

School of Agriculture Employer/Alumni Panel • Thursday, September 12

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. Joining the employer/alumni panel are the following distinguished professionals:

Ms. Erica Zielinski – MedVet Toledo
Mr. Ryan Ricketts – Pioneer
Kayla Henness – The Maschhoffs/Central Prairie Region
Brandt Henness – Consolidated Grain and Barge
Darrin Dodds – Mississippi State University
Douglas Reed – Channel Brand

  • 3:00 - 4:45 p.m., Stipes Hall 121

Supply Chain Management Day • Wednesday, September 18

The 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. SCM Day is a great opportunity for students to showcase their knowledge and experience to prospective employers. For more information, visit the SCM Day web page.

  • SCM Career Fair: 1:30 - 4:30 p.m., University Union Grand Ballroom

Meet the Firms • Wednesday, September 18

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, visit the BAP Meet the Firms web page.

  • 1:00 - 3:00 p.m., University Union Brattain Lounge
  • No pre-registration is required and students will sign in the day of the event.

1st Annual NextGen Talent Expo • Wednesday, September 18

The 1st Annual Talent Expo is hosted by the WIU School of Management and Marketing. This Expo is a career fair for employers and students in the following fields: marketing, sales, management, and human resources. This will be a great opportunity for students to highlight their academic experiences and student involvement through networking. Also, employers will share information about possible internships and career opportunities

  • 1:00 - 4:00 p.m., University Union Heritage Room