By Harrison Broker, senior finance major
It’s not every day that a University of St. Thomas student has the chance to utilize the influence and reputation of the UST name. UST creates many opportunities for its students to expand their professional networks by attending networking events and meeting potential employers.
On Feb. 20, 2015 UST held the first Celts Exploring Business trip of the spring 2015 semester. About 14 undergraduate and graduate students from the Cameron School of Business had the chance to visit Amegy Bank and speak with the founder, Walter Johnson, and network with some recruiters and employees about their Officer Development Program. This program gives recent graduates formal training and a secured position with the company, which requires newly hired individuals to rotate through the various banking sectors while gaining in-depth experience with financing and portfolio management.
I was excited to participate in this CEB trip and have the chance to be one of the faces that represented UST. I had expected this trip to simply be a chance to gain banking industry insight, but it revealed itself to be an irreplaceable networking opportunity. We learned about the ODP and about the highly involved culture at Amegy. I had known about the program from previous research, but this trip allowed UST to introduce me to the bank’s recruiters. Meeting with the recruiters prior to applying and interviewing for an exclusive program proved to be advantageous since the recruiters were able to associate a face with a résumé.
This trip was beneficial to me and related to my career goals since I plan on entering the finance industry after graduating this May. I saw this professional networking event as an opportunity to get my foot in the door with a large bank in Texas and gain a rich experience in the banking sector. I was given the chance to personally meet and network with Amegy recruiters and to have UST’s name and reputation backing me.
I would encourage any CSB student to participate in these Celts Exploring Business networking trips to help grow their professional network outside of the UST campus. This experience was also a great chance to test myself and the skills learned through the CSB workshops, such as the interviewing and resume writing ones. Students should not miss out on any of these networking opportunities that our school provides, as they can prove to be invaluable when you least expect it. Always remember that an opportunity lost, is lost forever, so students should not be hesitant to take advantage of as many as possible before graduation.
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky