Saddleback students network and learn at the 2012 HR Symposium
Published: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Updated: Thursday, January 10, 2013 17:01
Students and faculty connected at the annual Human Resources Symposium on Tuesday, Nov. 27 in SSC 212.
The Symposium’s intention was for students ready to enter the workforce to have the opportunity to meet with people who have been around for a while, as well as for students to learn how to put their best foot forward during the job discovery process.
Dean of Business Science and Economic and Workforce Development Rocky Cifone spoke about the need for more Human Resource professionals in today’s market, “HR is less of an art today and more of a science.”
Cifone supports the HR Symposium and said that by 2013, Saddleback College will offer an Associate Degree in Human Resources. “We need to train [students] on ‘soft skills’ [including] oral and written communication as well as team building.”
David P. Bugay, Vice Chancellor Human Resources at South Orange County Community College District, instructed students at his table about how to stand out when doing a job interview. “People like open people,” he said. Bugay said it is important to make eye contact with the person who is interviewing you as well as have your hands open and shake their hand firmly.
Bugay indicated that although many things have changed in the market today, something that never goes out of style is the fact that people want to deal with positive people. “If you are having a bad day and have an interview scheduled, then you better get positive quick,” he said. Also, when interviewing, sit on the edge of your chair – it shows enthusiasm and interest.
Whitney Blackburn, 20, “There is definitely a lot of energy going on. I can tell some people are a little timid to go up to each other, but they (human resource representatives) are very good about it. There a lot of really good people here helping you connect. I’m someone who is trying to go into the environmental studies field and I got a chance to know someone that gave me some really good tips. It’s been great, great food and a good turn out.”
The first speaker Jan Slater is President of Career Connections and her company was designed to answer the student’s question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Slater spoke about three types of skills that a student has, some of which help you identify what type of career path you might follow. Those skills are: technical, personal and transferrable.
Slater emphasized how you must have eight to ten stories to tell when you go on an interview. “Do you know how boring it is to interview people all day long?” Slater asked. “If you can tell us a good story, you will stand out.”
Eden Walker, a Business Marketing major, said that she attended the Symposium because “I am in my last semester, and I wanted to know more about how to interview.” She also said that the most interesting tip she got from the symposium was Slater’s advice regarding telling stories. “I intend to use that one for sure,” Walker said.
Becky Krause, Director of HR at Skyworks Solutions, Inc. and Saddleback College alumni spoke second about how to be a star applicant with your resume. Some of the advice she gave students was to put your skills right at the top of your resume and be sure to tailor it to the specific job you are applying to. Krause also recommended that students use LinkedIn for their job search.
Evan Delling, Business and Communications major, was impressed with the resources and tools that he discovered at the symposium so he could further explore his career options. “I am still trying to find what I want to do,” Delling said.
Taleran Cerdagalan, Sophmore, finance, “It’s been great, very helpful, very interesting information. I got plenty of business cards. I learned I should get a Linkedin account. It was definitely a good experience to talk to the human resource people. It was a way to get a preview to how interviews in the real world are going to be like and get feedback. I’m really glad I came to this.”
Linda Duffy, President of Ethos Human Capital Solutions, warned students that there is no such thing as job security. Duffy is also a fan of using LinkedIn for job networking and suggested Twitter tips such as searching hashtags including #jobs and #job where recruiters often post job openings.
Owen Hout, Psychology/Political Science major, reported that the Symposium was very informative and that he “learned how important it is to network and get an advantage over others.”
Several Human Resource Professionals from Orange County were in attendance for students to network with and ask questions, including representatives from Motorola, the Walter Disney Company and Nordstrom.