On June 23, 11 guest interviewers and other individuals involved in job placement joined 17 Goodwin College students in the Community Room for a unique event designed to provide networking practice and offer constructive critiques to those about to enter the workforce. The students are currently enrolled in Goodwin’s Environmental Studies, Health Science, Human Services, Management and Leadership, Medical Assisting, Nursing, Ophthalmic Science, and Respiratory Care degree programs.
As the guests sampled a variety of frozen “mocktails,” the prospective employees navigated the challenges of networking in a social setting. Coordinating business cards and folders, and balancing drinks and hors d’oeuvres — all the while maintaining a calm and professional demeanor — the students maneuvered through an event that, at times, seemed part networking and part speed-dating.
Goodwin was created as a career-focused community that empowers students to become sought-after employees. Helping students understand the job search process beyond acquiring their certificates or degrees is essential, as is staying true to your own style. “For some of us, our goal was to meet with seven different people,” said one student. “In my case, I didn’t reach that many because I met with one employer who was extremely helpful in my search, so that seemed the best use of my time tonight.”
The overall response to the mocktails experience was remarkably positive, and students came away with specific tactics as well as general job search wisdom. “Do what you love and make it marketable!” was one student’s take-away.
“Thank you so much for the opportunity to participate in such a professional and enlightening event,”said student Katie Guilmette. “It was well worth the effort I needed to put into it from a participant’s perspective, and I hope it will continue to be offered to students. I look forward to future experiences with Goodwin’s Career Services.”
“It’s important for our students and graduates to be professionally groomed and job-ready to meet employer expectations. We are especially proud when the employers who attended our event commented about their positive interactions,” said Patricia Shaw, Goodwin’s Career Services Director. “We look forward to hosting another mocktails networking event in the future. Our team will continue to support and prepare our students to present themselves as the best candidates in their job searches.”
“Events like this bring the mission of Goodwin College to life — building bridges between education, commerce, and community,” said Brooke Penders, Goodwin’s Vice President of Advancement. “When we can bring our hard-working students together with caring people from the community who know the value of networking, and its importance in landing a job in your chosen field, it’s a perfect connection for everyone.”
The guest interviewers had equally positive reactions to the first-time event. “Thank you so much for inviting me to attend,” said life coach Stacey Zackin. “I felt really proud to be here and honestly privileged to meet the other participants.”
“This networking event is one of many ways we support our job-seeking students,” said Stephanie Hertz, Career Services Placement Specialist. “At a career-focused institution such as Goodwin College, it’s imperative to give our students and graduates real-world experience to prepare them for their careers. The ability to network well is a skill that, through practice, will set our students and graduates up for a lifetime of success.”
The Career Services team is available to work with current students and with alumni, even years after they graduate. To learn more about Career Services at Goodwin College, visit www.goodwin.edu/career-services.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.