Professional Development Series will help prepare students

Steven Barnum, Assistant News Editor

During the period of Sept. 10-20, Western Illinois University students will have as many as 20 opportunities to gain experience and improve their knowledge in the business world.

The annual series of events, called the Professional Development Series, is hosted by the College of Business and Technology (CBT). Students who participate in the events will learn tips that could help them both now and after they are a college graduate.

Kicking the schedule off on Monday, Sept. 10 is a presentation by the sales and logistics manager of Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Company, Andrew Van Thyne. The presentation is titled “You Want Me To Move Where?” and will focus on the increasing demand for workers to relocate. According to, 84 percent of millennials say they are willing to make lifestyle changes and pick up to a new city. The presentation will take place in Stipes Hall 121 at 11 to 11:50 a.m. or at 12-12:50 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 11 will host two separate events that both revolve around the importance of networking. The first presentation will take place from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. and the second will begin at 5 p.m. Hosted by Kathy Waters, executive director of the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce, both presentations will be held in room 501 in Stipes Hall. Moving forward to Wednesday, Sept. 12, “The Importance of Knowing About Benefits” will be presented from 2-2:50 p.m. by Tom Schuetz, managing partner and Chris Bynum, business relationship director of Group Services. Students who attend this session, located in room 121 in Stipes Hall, will learn  what to look for when pursuing certain benefit packages in a job. Then, from 3-4 p.m. in the front lobby of Stipes Hall, the CBT Student OrganizationFair will provide information to those looking to join certain student groups.

On Thursday, Sept. 13, students will learn how to engage in difficult conversations by attending human resources consultant Mandy Carballido’s presentation from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. in room 121 of Stipes Hall. In the same room, Western instructor Michelle Howe will discuss strategies to use in the current and future job market from 2-3:15 p.m. For the last event of the day, Managing and Marketing Department Professor Susan Creasey will teach students proper dining habits in a professional environment with an etiquette dinner. To participate, students must pay $10, make reservations and dress professionally. The dinner will take place from 5-7 p.m. in the University Union Lamoine Room.

The sole event on Monday, Sept. 17 will take place in room 121 of Stipes Hall from 1-1:50 p.m. It is titled “Preparing for Interviews”, which teaches students the best way to present themselves in job interviews. Human resources recruiting lead from Circle 8 Logistics, Inc. Rachel Wojcik will present.

“Personal Finances – More Money, No Problem” will discuss how to put yourself in a position for financial success. This presentation will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 18 in room 121 of Stipes Hall from both 9:30 to 10:45 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Later that day, the University Union Heritage Room will host a meet-and-greet opportunity with company representatives in the supply chain field from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

On Wednesday, Sept. 19, Bryan Langston, vice president of Warehousing, Dot Foods, will help students design their resumes so that they will stand out to potential employers. This will take place from 9-9:50 a.m. or 10-10:50 a.m. in Stipes Hall 121. From 1-4 p.m. in the University Union Brattain Lounge, accountancy, finance or information systems majors can speak with employers who are looking to hire students for internships or job openings.

The final day of the series of events, Thursday, Sept. 20, will feature two presentations. The first will take place from 12-12:50 p.m. in room 105 of Knoblauch Hall. It will focus on what makes a successful job candidate and will include an Engineering Technology Employer Panel discussion. Lastly, from 3-4:45 p.m. in Stipes Hall 121, agricultural students can learn from career professionals how to look for and prepare for a job in that field.