WKU to host career conference Friday

Aaron Mudd

This week the Potter College of Arts and Letters is preparing to host its Career Linkages Conference, which features panels and workshops that help liberal arts students with their professional goals. The conference is free and open to all students and is being held in the Mass Media and Technology Hall on Feb. 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Jennifer Markin, the coordinator of Student Services for Potter College, said that the event’s workshops on managing finances, interviewing and professional etiquette could benefit any student.

“A lot of what we’re talking about really applies to all majors,” Markin said. “As an advisor and instructor within Potter College, so much of what I see is students who are wonderfully talented and have a lot of skills and don’t even realize it.”

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The event began back in 2011 with a simple panel discussion and continued again in the spring of 2013.

“We got great feedback,” Markin said. “It was one of those things where students were like ‘this is exactly what I needed.’”

The decision to expand the event past a discussion panel was an effort to give students a chance to practice new skills. 

“In the panel really all we addressed was these panelists’ anecdotal experiences within their own careers,” she said. “By extending it to the whole conference there’s actual workshops.”

This year a workshop about careers in the visual and performing arts was added because of a request from students. 

“We try to make the conference meet student needs as much as possible,” Markin said. “It’s basically free professional development for them.”

About 50 students attended last year’s conference and Markin expects another 50 to attend this year however there is enough room for more students.

Students who plan on attending are asked to register online so that enough free food and other materials can be provided.

Workshops will feature topics such as using social media to create a personal brand and continuing education after college.

Markin said that students are free to come and go if their schedule prevents them from staying for all the sessions.

A special interactive workshop about tailoring your resume to certain job opportunities will also be available throughout the day’s events from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“A student potentially could literally bring a job description they’re wanting to apply to and work on tailoring a cover letter and resume to it,” Markin said.

A discussion panel featuring several WKU alumni will conclude the conference and the day’s events. Some of the guests include Sam Ford, the director of audience engagement at public relations agency Peppercomm, and Lauren Cunningham, community engagement coordinator at the ALIVE Center for Community Partnerships. 

“We talk so much in the classroom about what you need to learn,” Markin said. “But once you leave you need to understand how to apply what you’ve learned.”