Junior Career Day prepares students

By Suzanne Tomse

NIU alumni will advise students about preparing for the “real world” at the College of Business’s annual Junior Career Day.

The event, which will be held Wednesday, begins at 9 a.m. with a welcome by Richard Brown, dean of the college and Gary Scott, Career Planning and Placement director. Four business executives will present a panel discussion on the trends and problems in different industries, said Wilma Stricklin, associate dean of the college.

Jerry Armstrong, vice president of finance and administration at DeKalb Pfizer Genetics, said he will be discussing the history of, and the trends in, the agriculture industry.

“I also want to let students know that there are opportunities ahead in the agriculture business,” said Armstrong.

Other speakers are Jay Goltz, entrepreneur; Jerry Kuhn, partner in Ernst & Whinney; and Frank Manderscheid, area sales manager of Hewlett-Packard Company.

“These people (the speakers) really care about this event. The undergraduate students are very significant to industry and this is their future,” Stricklin said.

Following a brief question and answer session with the panelists, students will meet in smaller groups with alumni.

Several alumni, all of whom have graduated within the past two to five years, will be present to meet with three different groups of students, Stricklin said. They will advise students on what they can do while they are still in college to prepare for their career, she said.

Stricklin said the junior-level principle courses are dismissed for the day and most professors require their students to attend the program. She said about 600 to 800 students attended last year’s career day.

Stricklin said the program was created six years ago in response to concerns of employers.

The College of Business developed a career advisory board, which produced Junior Career Day, “to teach students how to be better prepared to leave the university and go out into the working world,” Stricklin said.

The board’s three student members designed the program and were responsible for organizing the event, Stricklin said. The students also are responsible for preparing and managing student evaluations of the program.