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Biz-tech students ‘speed date’ alumni for career information

Published on October 10, 2023

Biz-tech students ‘speed date’ alumni for career information

students at table
Alumni provided advice and reasssurance to students at the fair.

Eastern Connecticut State University’s business information systems (BIS) program recently hosted a Biz-Tech and IT Career Conversations event that gave students the opportunity to sit down with alumni to learn about career options in their field.

Nine round tables were set up at the event, which has occurred each fall since 2017. Each table was marked with a sign displaying a BIS career field, from analytics and business intelligence to data base administration and project management. Roughly two Eastern alumni in a relevant job field were seated at each table to discuss career options, relevant courses, skills and more with interested students.

Many of the alumni represented local companies with job opportunities, including Hartford Healthcare, Pfizer, SPIROL Connecticut, The Hartford and Travelers.

“My strategy is always to have multiple alumni per career area because things happen in the real world,” said Alex Citurs, associate professor of accounting and BIS, who oversaw the event. Alumni often cannot attend because of work commitments, so Citurs invites enough alumni to compensate for others’ absences.

Students discussing career options

Nine round tables were set up for the event where employers talked with students.

Many alumni represented local companies with job opportunities.

Citurs was excited for the wide range of opportunities for a wide range of students. Students in majors ranging from BIS to business administration to health sciences could find opportunities that they may not have been aware of, he said.

“This is a good opportunity to dive a little deeper into what specifically you might want to do,” said sophomore BIS major Sam Hurlburt, who is the public relations officer of Eastern’s BIS Club.

One senior computer science major attended the event to learn what skills they should have before entering the job market. “Having the people there to talk to who are in (my career field of interest) was nice,” said the student.

The possibility of learning on the job was reassuring for junior BIS major Joe Hines. “I learned that a lot of the jobs in BIS provide education when you get into the workforce,” he said.

The diversity of roles and perspectives within each organization inspired confidence for senior BIS major Colby Dubois. “The perspective between different people in the same company really opens the horizons for people,” he said. He referenced the wide-ranging perspectives of the three representatives from The Hartford whom he spoke with.

While providing advice and reassurance to students, some alumni, such as Connor Chute, decision scientist at Travelers, also viewed the event as a recruiting opportunity. “If more Eastern students come to my company, it’s better for the University and for me,” he said. He enjoyed returning to Eastern to see the “talent landscape” within the BIS student population.

Alumni also served to open students’ minds to the fluid nature of the BIS workforce. Chute was there to tell students that the nature of finding a job relevant to their interest is not as rigid as they may think.

“You’re going to get your foot in the door, and then you can figure it out,” said Chute.

Written by Noel Teter