Conestoga news

March 20, 2024 10:25 AM

Networking event attracts business students and industry leaders

Students and employer partners gathered at the college’s Kitchener - Doon campus on March 11 for the second annual Business Student Conference. Hosted by the School of Business, the event featured keynote speaker Pina Melchionna, president and CEO of the Canadian Institute of Traffic and Transportation.

The conference provided an opportunity for more than 125 students from accounting, supply chain management, international business, bookkeeping and business administration programs to network with representatives from local businesses and professional organizations as well as participate in workshops.

Melchionna’s talk focused on concerns related to businesses today such as environment, social and governance issues, and breakout sessions featured workshops where students met with industry leaders and recruiters to learn and ask questions about topics ranging from careers in management to professional certifications and presentation skills - all helpful for co-op students looking to establish connections ahead of their work terms.

“As our co-op semester is coming up in January, it’s good to meet people here who could act as a reference and to become familiar with them,” said Hermon Beyene, a student in the Bachelor of Business Administration (Honours) Accounting, Audit, and Information Technology program.

Hearing Melchionna’s presentation also appealed to first-year Business Administration - Accounting student Gavin Larow.

“Having a CEO as keynote speaker gives people the initiative to come, listen, learn, and advance themselves in their own field,” said Larow.

Organizations in attendance included those that see value in establishing connections with Conestoga students ahead of graduation. Representatives from ATS Automation, Waterloo Regional Police, BDO, St. Mary’s General Hospital, and Supply Chain Management Association of Ontario joined the conference.

“We view students as leaders of tomorrow, so we would like to get engaged with them early on, have them learn a bit more about our organization, what we do, and what career opportunities there might be,” said Jason Martin, who was representing ATS at the event.

“We have many employees who are graduates of Conestoga College,” added Martin, a Conestoga graduate himself.

The event also provided students with the opportunity to network with faculty, staff, alumni, and college organizations such as the Conestoga Entrepreneurship Collective (CEC).

“Providing platforms for students to connect with employers, industry leaders, alumni, college resources, and fellow students is key to producing job-ready graduates,” said Mona Nouroozifar, dean, Undergraduate Studies, School of Business.

“Events like the Business Student Conference are where these interactions come to life, and it’s great to be present to see the beginnings of what could be fruitful and lifelong connections taking shape.”

Conestoga’s School of Business provides numerous opportunities and pathways to complete, specialize or expand business education through full- or part-time studies. Its programs reflect today’s business needs across a wide range of credentials from apprenticeships, one-year certificates, two- and three-year advanced diplomas, to graduate certificates and degree opportunities that include multiple specializations.