By ABBY SHIFLEY
BG Independent Correspondent
Avery Lane had two questions for BGSU students: First, what are your plans after graduation? Second, how are you going to get there?
During the second week of Winter Session, students attended the Backpack to Briefcase boot camp. The event aimed to provide students with resources they might need for their careers, as well as to challenge students to think about their post-graduation plans.
Fifty-three students registered for the boot camp, which consisted of individual consultations, mock interviews, eight presentations, an etiquette lunch and professional headshots for each student.
Some students at the boot camp had plenty of experience in the workforce, but still attended the camp for extra practice.
“Any practice is good practice,” said Brian Armstrong, a senior majoring in geography who had a summer internship at the Iowa County Highway Department in Wisconsin. He ended up giving a presentation to the highway commissioner, which resulted in a $2 million increase in the department’s highway budget.
“I feel like everyone should have the opportunity and take advantage of the opportunities that we have here to better yourself and prepare yourself for the future, for your career,” Armstrong said. “So that’s why when I saw this opportunity to come and get a mock interview done and come to this session I signed up.”
The first presentation on Tuesday was on making a “one-minute commercial,” for students to use to inform potential employers on their skills and qualifications.
Armstrong said he hopes that after the boot camp, “when I get to interview for a job, I’m not going to be nervous, I’m going to be prepared, I’m going to kill any interview that I go for.”
“Dressing for Success” was the topic of the second presentation on Tuesday, given by Assistant Director of the Career Center Andrea Gutierrez and an employer partner and BGSU student, Bobby Bergstrom.
The presentation covered what is appropriate to wear to a job interview and what isn’t, but also how the expectations can change depending on the nature of a company.
Nicole Edelbrock, a junior majoring in graphic design, has bright purple and blue hair, which has upset some of her employers. “It’s mostly been retail, smaller jobs,” Edelbrock noted. “I’m not worried more so for artistic, graphic design jobs, and I wouldn’t really want to work for places that have biases against tattoos, and piercings and hair.”
Edelbrock said she found the presentation insightful, even though some of it was basic knowledge.“I always wear the same shoes year-round, so making me think about investing in shoes and how important it is to make that (first) impression,” she said.
The job search engine Handshake, which is provided to BGSU student, was also incorporated into the event. Handshake replaced the outdated application WorkNet last fall. Students who registered for the event had to do so through Handshake and learn to upload a resume to the system, as well as search for jobs within the system.
The event ended with an etiquette lunch, attended by the registered students, as well as multiple alumni, faculty and staff, and employer partners.
BGSU President Rodney Rogers spoke at the opening of the etiquette lunch on Thursday.