Business Week, an annual event at the College of Business at the University, provides students with events to connect with other business students and network with professionals from companies in Reno and beyond.
This year’s Business Week, which had the theme “Business is Beautiful,” included a Kickoff BBQ with Microsoft, a networking event with ZLINE Kitchen and Bath, ITS Logistics, Elemental LED and Northwestern Mutual coordinated by Business Student Council and the Career and Corporate Outreach Center, and a virtual session with a Department of State recruiter for foreign embassy opportunities.
Jim McClenahan, the College’s director of corporate relations, helped coordinate the networking opportunities during Business Week. He encouraged students to begin building a professional network early on in their college career.
“A person’s network is the most valuable asset they have,” McClenahan said. “The first job they have is likely because they attended a networking event.”
The week also included a pop-up event for a recently revived Business Student Council initiative: Professional Student Closet. Having business professional clothing helps builds the confidence needed to successfully network with potential employers.
Serene Townsell, an accounting and human development and family studies major on Business Student Council, learned about the program’s prior existence before the COVID-19 pandemic. She and Clayton Greb, another member of Business Student Council, talked with alumni involved with the initiative and researched similar programs at other schools to understand what needed to be done to get it up and running again.
“Being on campus for a few years, I have seen a need for it,” Townsell said. “It isn’t just for interviews but to help students have clothes that make them feel like they belong where they are working.”
The closet runs entirely on donations collected during drives and in a drop box in Ansari Business building room 409. The first two drives happened on Sept. 22 and 23, the week before the pop-up. There was also a bin and a rack for donations placed in Eide Bailly LLP’s office.
In total, 177 items were donated for the first pop-up event. Students visited the closet during the pop-up event during Business Week, where they could take any clothing they wanted, entirely for free.
Ryan Jones, an information systems major, visited the closet’s first pop-up event.
“The clothes I received will help tremendously in trying to get a job in my field,” Jones said. “They are critically important for interviewing and job prospects, but it also makes you feel not only like you’re dressed for success, but you are overall ready to embark on your journey into the professional world.”
Jones hopes to work in cybersecurity or network support after graduation at the end of the spring 2023 semester.
The next pop-up event will be on Oct. 12 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Joe Crowley Student Union Ballrooms. It will be part of the Prepare for the Fair event where students can also get free headshots, mock interview practice and resume critiques to prepare for the College’s career fair.
“I would recommend this event to a friend or anyone on campus, as it is a great opportunity and helps save a ton of money,” Jones said.
The closet received support from the Nevada Career Studio at the University and the Career and Corporate Outreach Center at the College of Business, as well as Eide Bailly LLP. In the future, Business Student Council hopes to expand the program with support from more partners in the Reno/Sparks area.
“We are grateful to Dean Mosier, Jim McClenahan, Jen Nelson, Aqueelah Thompson, Nicole Becker, Indigo Hinojos, Pack Provisions, Joe Crowley, the Multicultural Center, the generous donors and other campus administrators for helping us out in many respects,” Townsell said. “We are looking forward to the partnerships that will be made soon!”