DECA hosts “How to Get a Job” event

After college, getting a job is at the top of many graduates’ priority list. Oswego State students met with a variety of professionals in Sheldon Ballroom to learn everything there is to know about “How to Get a Job” Oct. 2 at 5:30 p.m.

Hosted by DECA (Distributive Educator Club of America), students got the opportunity to learn from professionals about tips, advice and everything they will need to know about how to get hired.

“Everyone is able to get expertise from the industry and it is an invaluable thing to start building these connections,” said Matthew Sheffer, DECA vice president of events.

Guests included Lauren Pease, head of U.S. Recruiting Operations at Alcoa; Michael Pease, CFO of Terri Restaurants and Blackbird Foods; Janice Gray, people manager at GHD Inc. and Margaret Luttinger, principal of Luttinger Associates. Students, mostly business majors, attended the event.

At first, students took their seats and DECA President Max Luttenger welcomed everyone, as well as initiated introductions of the guest speakers. To start the seminar, a representative from Men’s Wearhouse gave a presentation on “How to Dress for Success.” This is when students were able to take note of every detail concerning a head to toe ensemble in different kinds of corporate culture. It was also noted in the presentation how to present oneself in an interview including appropriate arrival times and strong eye contact.

After the first presentation, students enjoyed refreshments as the seating in the room transformed into four stations. In each station, the chairs faced a different guest speaker that would focus on topics including career exploration, preparing for the interview, the interview and the internship. The students were then asked to disperse into the different 20-minute stations until notified to move on to the next station.

The guest speaker in each station started by telling a little about themselves and some of their own experiences, but each group varied based on the students in it. Most of the speakers accepted questions throughout or at the end. Each group of students asked different types of questions. This attributed to the type of experience people had and what they were able to get out of each station other than the answer to their own question.

Career exploration was led by Michael Pease. After introducing himself, he focused on a few key concepts before accepting questions. Students got to take away the importance of considering what someone would want out of their career choice and whether that would make them happy.

Preparing for the interview featured Gray. She emphasized the importance of knowing a company before an interview and ways to use social media to one’s advantage. She later mentioned a resource known as glassdoor.com in order for interviewers to get a sense of the work environment before they interview.

The interview station was conducted by Lauren Pease. She mainly ran the station by feeding off of questions that the students had. She emphasized on four major ideas: being prepared, having values that align with a company, knowing your individual skill set and feeling a sense of chemistry with that company. She compared an interview as a first date with quite a big first impression.

The internship station was conducted by   Luttinger. She led her discussion by telling students different stories and experiences. She emphasized that an intern should show how resourceful they are and to always figure out the chain of command in a company and the intern’s role in that chain.

The two-and-a-half hour program ended with a question and answer portion as well as take-away advice from the guest speakers.

“I think it turned out well,” Luttenger said.  “I stopped at all the stations and everything I thought people could learn from, everything I wanted to hear at least, was being answered. I saw people very focused on what was being said and a lot of people taking notes, and I think that is all you can really ask for.”

DECA hopes to have this event next year, although they plan to add or change a few things to make it better.