Pro Expo a success for students, companies

More than 600 students packed the first and second floors of the IST Building for the College of Information Sciences and Technology's (IST) fourth annual Pro Expo recruiting event, held Monday Sept. 15.

The event also drew some 200 corporate representatives from 58 companies ranging from Lockheed Martin to MTV and L'Oreal USA -- all of whom were trying to recruit IST students for internships and full-time jobs.

The day kicked off with a Diversity Networking Breakfast at the Nittany Lion Inn, where students had the chance to mingle with corporate representatives in an informal setting. The event was sponsored by the college's office of Diversity, Outreach and International Engagement.

IST alumni took the opportunity to come back to their alma mater for Pro Expo and recruit current students. Both the college and its programs offer qualities sought after by firms and government agencies alike.

"They like everything the program does, the way they prepare their students," said Stephanie Marshall of PNC, which has had a partnership with IST dating back nearly a decade.

A 2007 alumna of the college, Marshall, a business analyst, added that she personally felt well prepared for her current position. Problem-based learning, an IST fundamental, was particularly helpful as she adapted to new business applications with which she works.

"We'll take as many Penn Staters as we can get," quipped Shannon L. Smedstad, GEICO e-recruiting and branding specialist.

Speaking specifically about IST students and grads, she said there is a "natural fit" between student knowledge sets and GEICO requirements.

"When we’re looking at IST seniors and underclassmen for internships, we're really looking for the business, the leadership, the technical, the team skills," Smedstad commented. "IST really offers all of that."

"They're teaching the students not just the technology, but how business uses technology. At GEICO, especially with our leadership programs and our Internet unit, those skills fit very nicely."

In preparation for Pro Expo, the college held several resume review sessions and showed students how to "Dress for Success" with a wardrobe-counseling session led by representatives from local clothing stories.

Before Pro Expo began, students were able to upload their resume and view company profiles using Compass, the college's new job-posting system.
 

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Last Updated November 18, 2010