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WIU 2019 Professional Development Series Sept. 9-18

September 3, 2019

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MACOMB, IL - - Western Illinois University's College of Business and Technology (CBT) will host the annual Professional Development Series Sept. 9-18.

Students are invited to register for the more than 15 sessions offered that are designed to prepare students for the job search and a career in business.

"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," said Bruce Western, CBT Professional Development Series coordinator and instructor in the management and marketing department. "This is also a great opportunity for students to network with employers and learn more about their fields of interest."

The schedule includes:

Monday, Sept. 9
8-8:50 a.m. in Stipes Hall 121 – "Digital Footprints Matter" – presented by WIU School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration Director Jill Joline Myers. 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.

11-11:50 a.m. and noon-12:50 p.m. in Stipes Hall 121 – "Going Up? Learn How to Create and Present Your Elevator Speech" – presented by Aaron Littig, corporate recruiter, Dot Foods Inc. Having an effective elevator speech can land you that dream job. Learn the steps you should consider as you determine how to sell yourself to prospective employers.

1-1:50 p.m. in Stipes Hall 121 – "Understanding Different Aspects of Personal Finances" – presented by Todd Lester, community president, Citizens Bank (a division of Morton Community Bank). Lester 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.

3:45-4:45 p.m. in Stipes Hall 501 – "The Art of Networking" – presented by WIU Marketing Assistant Professor Cathy Onion. 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. Professional dress is preferred, and casual business dress is acceptable.

5 p.m. in Stipes Hall 501 – 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. Professional dress is preferred, and casual business dress is acceptable.

Tuesday, Sept. 10
9:30-10:45 a.m. and 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. in Stipes Hall 121 – "Career Flexibility and Behavioral Interviewing" – presented by Wade Watson, senior supplier development engineer for John Deere, and Amy Zank, material flow operations manager for 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, Watson and Zank will share their personal experiences and lessons learned through various roles, as well as discuss the STAR (Situation/Task, Action, Result) interview method. Deere is one of the many companies that uses the behavioral interview method to select the right candidate for the job. The presenters will explain the STAR method, including real life examples of questions, as well as strategies for preparing and formulating your answers.

Noon-12:50 p.m. in Knoblauch Hall 105 – Engineering, Engineering Technology, Construction Management, Graphic Communication and Instructional Design Technology Employer Panel. 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.

2-2:50 p.m. in Stipes Hall 121 – "Civic Engagement for Better Businesses and Stronger Communities" – presented by Christina Steelman, of the McDonough County CEO Program. There are many reasons to be involved in your community as a volunteer, philanthropist or leader. 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, presenters will discuss the highlights of civic engagement and its connection to savvy marketing techniques.

Wednesday, Sept. 11
9-9:50 a.m. and 10-10:50 a.m. in Stipes Hall 121 – "The Importance of Finding Good Mentors in the Workplace and Having a Personal 'Board of Directors'" – presented by Megan Opiekun, manager of intermodal containers for 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.

2-2:50 p.m. in Stipes Hall 121 – "I Want to Start My Own Business, But How Do I Get Started?" - presented by Beau Ingledue, managing partner of Purdum Gray Ingledue Beck, Inc. and owner of Forgottonia Brewing. Ingledue, a WIU alumnus, will discuss his experience of starting a new business while continuing to remain committed to his primary occupation. Ingledue will cover the process of exploring the idea of starting a brewery in Macomb and the steps he and his business partners took to open 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.

5-7 p.m. in University Union Lamoine Room – Etiquette Dinner – presented by Susan Creasey, assistant professor, WIU Management and Marketing Department - In this session, students will learn dining etiquette for a professional setting. Reservations and professional dress are required. The cost is $10 per person, which can be paid by cash or check in the CBT dean's office in Stipes Hall 101.

Thursday, Sept. 12
12:30-1:45 p.m. in Stipes Hall 121 – "Ms. Communication: Emailing, Texting and Chatting in the Corporate World" – presented by Michelle Howe, instructor, WIU Management and Marketing. This session will address the common channels of communication in the workplace and when to use them. Students will also learn proper email techniques to ensure a message is clear, concise and correct.

3-4:45 p.m. in Stipes Hall 121 - WIU School of Agriculture Alumni/Employer Panel, including: Erica Zielinski, MedVet Toledo; Ryan Ricketts, Pioneer; Kayla Henness, The Maschhoffs/Central Prairie Region; Brandt Henness, Consolidated Grain and Barge; Darrin Dodds, Mississippi State University; and Douglas Reed, Channel Brand. 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.

Wednesday, Sept. 18
1:30-4:30 p.m. in the University Union Grand Ballroom - Supply Chain Management Day Career Fair - The event includes an afternoon of informal meet-and-greet opportunities with company representatives, as well as 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.

1-3 p.m. in the University Union Brattain Lounge - Meet the Firms - The 31st annual Meet the Firms is a unique career fair in which students majoring in accountancy, finance or 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.

1-4 p.m. in the University Union Heritage Room – NextGen Talent Expo – hosted by WIU School of Management and Marketing. This career fair is for employers and students in marketing, sales, management and human resources. Students can highlight their academic experiences and involvement through networking, and employers will share information about possible internships and career opportunities

For more information or to register, visit

Posted By: Alisha Looney (
Office of University Communications & Marketing