Shepherd hosts Connections Day
The Shepherd University Alumni Association hosted the 2nd annual Professional Connections Day in partnership with the School of Business and Social Sciences and Career Services April 5.
This year’s keynote speaker was Delegate Tiffany Lawerence, a 2004 graduate of Shepherd College and marketing and public relations manager for Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.
Lawrence encouraged students to leave their mark wherever they go and whatever they do.
“Fall in love with the process of life and the results will follow,” Lawrence said in a press release. “You’ve got to want to do whatever you want to do more than just having the title. Life is too challenging for external rewards to sustain us. The joy is in the journey and the doing. Find something you love; that’s my challenge to you today.”
According to Victoria Buchbauer, director of career services, 140 students were registered for the day. Speakers at this year’s event included Mark Baldwin, city manager for Martinsburg; Rob Hoxton, president, senior wealth management advisor and CEO of Hoxton Financial; Stephen Lynch, president of McShea & Co., Inc.; Sandy Sponaugle, founder and CEO of Platinum PR; and Blake Truman, general manager, VerStandig Broadcasting.
Topics for this year’s sessions included workplace communications, career development and small business entrepreneurs.
“I like the idea of sharing with the students the career path I took and the life lessons I’ve learned,” said Sponaugle, a 1995 graduate of Shepherd and current member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors. “I make mistakes every day, and I try to learn from each one of them.”
Truman, of VerStandig Broadcasting based in Harrisonburg, Va., and a 2004 graduate of Shepherd, said he was happy to be able to come back.
“Some of the most helpful advice I got came from events like this,” Truman said. “I appreciate the opportunity to do the same for current students.”
Lynch, of McShea Residential Services, Inc., in Frederick, Md., said that he thinks that Professional Connections Day is a great way for alumni to give back to the college and to give advice to students entering the work force.
“We can pass (on our experience) so they don’t feel so intimidated,” Lynch said. “To have someone come back and prepare you is helpful.”
Caiti Baker, a senior business administration major from Purcellville, Va., said that it was nice to talk to people who have taken different career paths because each one has a different perspective to share.
“Today was excellent for networking. There were lots of great tips and it showed us a taste of what business seminars are like so we know what to expect,” said Josh Nichols, senior accounting and business major of Winchester, Va.
“Professional Connections Day is intended to inform our students on important aspects of career development, inspire them with real-life stories of success, and give them opportunities to network and perhaps to develop long-lasting relationships with representatives from business and government,” said Ann Legreid, dean of the School of Business and Social Sciences.
“This truly is one of the main visions of Shepherd: to take our strong liberal arts background and connect the different things you’ve learned for career preparation, so that there isn’t a big jump for you as you transition into the workforce,” said Suzanne Shipley, president of Shepherd University told the students attending the event. “This is a major component of making your transition seamless.”
– From staff reports