Rider University recently partnered with the Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce (MRCC) and The College of New Jersey to offer its student business leaders an opportunity to develop networking skills and meet local business managers and owners in the field during the Rider/TCNJ Evening Networking Event with the MRCC.
Students were invited to attend a pre-event “How to Network” workshop, organized by Elizabeth Williams ’10, M.B.A.’12, graduate assistant for the Center for the Development of Leadership Skills, on February 7, on Rider’s Lawrenceville campus. Eleven Rider students and two TCNJ students participated in the workshop, which was facilitated by Jessie Phillips, supervisor and business service representative at the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Phillips provided students with the tools and techniques to succeed in a networking environment, not only at the upcoming networking event but also in those on-the-spot opportunities such as on an elevator and in interviews.
“During my time at Rider I have organized several networking events for various student groups because I see the value in exposing Rider students to the business community and in allowing them to gain the increasingly important networking skills they need to succeed in the professional world,” Williams said. “Partnering with TCNJ and MRCC was a great experience and the event was an awesome success.”
Many of those students were able to put their acquired skills into practice at the Rider/TCNJ Evening Networking Event with the Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce on February 21 at The College of New Jersey. During the opening address, Robert Prunetti, CEO of the Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce, explained to the students the importance of meeting people, learning how to network, and making connections in order to succeed in the business world and successfully navigate the current job market.
The event featured two rounds of speed networking where students moved between tables, gaining exposure to many different professionals and introducing themselves to many people in a short amount of time, as well as open networking. In total, 15 Rider students participated, and 65 guests attended. Representing organizations included Bank of America Merrill Lynch/The Loff Group, Girl Scouts, Mercadien, P.C., CPAS and New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Group.
Louis Chebetar ’13, an Accounting major and a member of the Leadership Development Program, participated in the pre-event workshop and the networking event.
“It was an exciting way to meet some other professionals in the community where otherwise I would have never met them if it was not for Mercer Chamber of Commerce and the partnership of Rider and TCNJ,” said Chebetar about the speed networking portion of the event.
Jaspreet Kaur ’14, an Accounting student, LDP member and president of Rider’s Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda, agreed.
“The How-to-Network workshop was a great preparation for the Networking Event. Jessie Phillips was the perfect choice — she was so much fun but at the same time gave information of incredible value,” Kaur said “I felt confident at the Networking Event and was able to use the skills and techniques that I learned in the workshop.”