Mocktail party mixes fun, professionalism
Published: Friday, February 1, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 1, 2013 07:02
The West Virginia University Career Services Center and Student Affairs are working to ensure students know the dos and don’ts of entering the professional world.
The Career Services Center will host the second annual Mocktail Party and Fashion show Feb. 12.
Career Counselor Adrian Ferrera said he enjoys hosting the event, because he believes it really benefits the students.
"The idea started after being at career fairs and seeing how students dress unprofessionally," Ferrera said. "We want to show students what to wear and what not to wear when it comes to dressing for job fairs and interviews, as well as provide an educational portion as well."
The event will be held in the Mountainlair Ballrooms at 6 -8 p.m. beginning with the mocktail portion, where students will have the chance to enjoy hors d’oeuvres, as well as learn how to introduce and carry a conversation with a professional in that type of setting.
"Students will be able to have a Q&A with HR representatives to inform them how to present and introduce themselves, as well as learn what employers are looking for," he said.
Following the mocktail hour, Toni Jones, the Assistant director of career services, will give a presentation about how to eat and conduct an interview at the same time, with some dining etiquette and tips to network with an employer, as if students were actually at a cocktail party.
"Every opportunity is on that can be an opportunity for a potential job, an internship or connection later down the road," Ferrera said. "However, if students don’t know how to handle that conversation or turn that conversation into a business one, it can be harder for them in the future."
The third portion of the event will be a fashion show from local stores such as Talbots, Gap, JoS. A. Bank, Daniels located on High Street, Maurices, Jack and Jill and possibly JCPenney.
This event is a great
opportunity for students who may be anxious or unsure how to network, he said.
David Durham, director of Career Services Center, said the overshadowing purpose of the event, after receiving feedback from employers and former students, is students today generally are not prepared to enter professional situations.
"Students get a great education, and they might have a great resume, but some lack social and behavior skills," Durhman said. "Unfortunately, as a society some communication skills have been lost because of texting and other forms of technology."
Both graduate and undergraduate students are welcome attend the event to learn how to regain these skills.
Ferrera said there will also be a larger career fair that will be open to the entire University March 7.
"We wanted to have this event at a time before the bigger career fair so students can learn this information, build their resume and make some adjustments on how they talk to employers so when they get to the career fair it is still fresh in his or her mind," he said.
Many trends show students don’t start looking for jobs or internships until the spring semester.
"Even though they should start looking earlier in the fall semester, we want to give the students the information as soon as possible," Ferrera said. "Hopefully in the future we can do one in the fall, as well."
Durham said many employers know the students have received an education but are looking for someone who can communicate effectively, someone who knows how to handle themselves with other individuals and can work well in groups and someone who is able to communicate to clients.
"We would like students to learn that there is more to being career-ready and there is more than going to college and getting good grades," Durham said. "It is also important to learn professional behaviors and etiquette, and this event is a great
opportunity for our students."
There will also be prizes given away to those students who attend.
In order to attend, all students must RSVP on the MountaineerTRAK as soon as possible.
For more information about WVU’s Career Service Center events and fairs, visit www.careerservices.wvu.edu, and follow them on their Facebook and Twitter page for updates.