Five ways this Business School event connects you with the professionals
The business world is always growing and changing, so in order to keep the programs in the Business School at Centennial College current and relevant, we partner with professional business institutions. Students can also connect with these institutions to help get their careers rolling once they graduate, and the first-ever Professional Association and Academic Partner Night was held this September at our Progress campus’s bridge and Fireside gallery to make that happen. The idea was to connect Business School students to these organizations, and the professionals within them. It was a new event, but one that will continue to happen each year. It’s just one of the many ways Centennial College helps get your career moving by providing you with a direct link to the industry you want to get into. Nav Uppal was one of the event organizers, and he filled me in on the five biggest reasons students will want to come to the event the next time it’s held.
1. You get to meet the pros
Because so many Business School programs are connected to professional organizations, there was a wide variety of professionals represented during the event, including the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA), the Supply Chain Management Association of Ontario (SCMAO), the Insurance Institute of Canada (IIC) and others.
“We had all the partners on the [Progress Campus] bridge,” Nav says, “and as students were leaving or coming to class, they would see that we were set up there, and connect with the association they were interested in.”
2. Make important connections
If you’re looking for a way into a career field, making a connection with one of these professionals is a good way to get noticed, get your network started, and get into a career.
“I think the most important takeaway would be a networking opportunity, where a student might have met someone from the industry,” Nav says. “For instance, we had somebody from the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC), who brought along a colleague that works with TD bank. And they got to connect with students who asked, what do you do on a daily basis? What would I be expected to do? What would I need to do to get where you are? So in terms of building a network, or finding a mentor, a student would have been able to pull that from these connections.”
3. Learn what your next steps are
When it comes to a more complex field of business, like accounting, it can sometimes be challenging to figure out the steps necessary to get certified (if you need to) and transition into a career. That was another reason for the event, to give students a forum to figure out the “what now?”
“It was an event to connect students to professional organizations,” Nav explains, “and provide some information on what type of jobs are out there, what type of salary range students could expect if they were to achieve designations, how they can go about achieving them and how Centennial links with those actual associations.”
“For instance,” Nav says, “the Human Resources Program is linked with the Human Resource Professional Association (HRPA), so by completing courses within the program, students become eligible to write tests as long as they meet minimum requirements. So what they would do is explain to the student once you’ve obtained your designation or certification, what kind of job options you have out there, what you can expect to earn, what can you expect to do in that position. It’s to educate students on what their pathways can look like.”
4. Discover a new career
Since the event was open to the entire student body, and anyone else that happened to walk by, there was an opportunity for people that weren’t in those programs to learn what they were about.
“If they didn’t know what direction they were going in, it actually helped those students chose,” Nav says. “They’ll speak to associations and decide which they’ll want to be associated with, and say this is the one I’m most interested in, and where I want to be in the future, and maybe I’ll even switch programs from, say, Supply Chain to Accounting. It could even have been for students that could be in, say, Engineering, but just walked along the bridge and started asking questions, and just said, you know, I think I’m in the wrong area.”
5. Win prizes
Showing up and learning from the professionals at this event could pay off more literally, as this year’s event also had a raffle for an iPad, which would later be won by Ramneet Kaur, a Business Marketing student, pictured here.
This brand-new event that will happen again in the coming years, if Nav has anything to say about it, and continue to connect business students to the organizations and professionals they need to know to make their careers happen.
By Anthony Geremia