Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What's Happening Wednesday: Senior Transitions Conference 2014

(Borrowed from Career Center)

What's happening, Mountie Nation?

This past weekend, I had the awesome opportunity to attend this year's Senior Transitions Conference. The conference sounded interesting enough and it was in Harrisburg. The last time I visited Harrisburg, I was in middle school. I figured it was about time that I graced the state capital with my presence again (kidding!)

I'm not going to lie... the early morning on Saturday (5:30 a.m.) was pretty rough. I didn't even sleep the night before because I had so many different things to do that night. With that said, as soon as I got on the bus, I passed out. A few (unconscious) hours later, we arrived! I expected our hotel to be located downtown but it was actually a few miles away from it, which I thought would suck... but ended up being relaxing, after all. After checking in with the conference and receiving our shiny and new leather portfolios from PSECU, we headed over to the main ballroom for some refreshments and mingling. At first look, you would think that this was a conference just for MU students. There were so many Mounties compared to the other schools' students. Still, it was nice to some familiar faces outside of the classroom.

(Photo credit: Ashley Wray)

After experiencing an etiquette lunch, which was definitely an interesting experience, we all got to choose which session to attend. The first one I chose was "Alternatives to the Workforce Panel", mostly because it was something that I've never given much thought. During this session, we learned about other options such as applying for the Peace Corps, Americorps, and graduate school. I already knew that graduate school wasn't something I was interested in, but learning about the volunteering opportunities was really refreshing. Personally, I don't think any of those options are for me, but it was amusing to hear about something after graduation that didn't involve submitting your resume to several different companies, waiting for a call.

(Photo credit: Ashley Wray)

The next session that I chose was called "Job Searching". There were other sessions that I definitely could've learned from, but this one seemed to be the session to make a priority. This session definitely wasn't as interesting as the first because the speaker went over some stuff that I've learned in my communication classes. The non-communication students were much more engaged in the presentation and had many questions for the speaker, which was great!

(Photo credit: Ashley Wray)

The last session of the day was "How to Brand Yourself". Again, I've learned a lot of the points the speaker was making from my communication classes. With that said, I didn't gain much new knowledge from this session but I could definitely tell that other majors did. If you're a communications student, I highly recommend choosing sessions that aren't within your comfort zone. Choose the session that you feel you need to be the most educated on, even if it doesn't sound entertaining.

After networking with students from different schools, professionals, and faculty of different schools, we were allowed to officially check into our hotel rooms and get ready for dinner out on the town. This might've been my favorite part of the trip because I love exploring cities. A few friends and I decided to grab some dinner from Arooga's, which was pretty good! Definitely check it out if you're in town and want to grab some wings and relax.

A few hours later, the bus arrived to take us back to the hotel where many students from different schools were mingling with each other. I lied before when I said checking out Harrisburg was my favorite part of the trip. This, networking with students from different schools, was my favorite part of the trip. Even though we all attended different schools, the other PASSHE students and my fellow Mounties instantly turned into a big family!

(Photo credit: Ashley Wray)

By the end of Saturday night, everyone was completely beat and ready to catch some z's. The next day was a much shorter one! Basically, our resumes were looked over and given tips, we had mock interviews, and ate some lunch while watching our keynote speaker. The keynote speaker didn't actually speak for that long. A lot of the keynote address was a documentary about doing what you love, which was completely inspiring. Even though I was seriously exhausted from the lack of sleep, I was sad to leave! Harrisburg was fun while it lasted and I almost wish we had one more night to experience the beautiful city.

Next year, if the Senior Transitions Conference is going on, I highly recommend you attend it! My experience was one I'll never forget and don't expect anyone else to, either.

A big thanks to Ashley Wray and the Career Center for allowing me to borrow some photos from the conference!

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