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Jobs PLUS partners with Community Expo for networking opportunity

March 19, 2017

Jobs PLUS hits the road Thursday, March 30, with an event that will include the 2017 Community Expo hosted by the DeKalb and Sycamore Chambers of Commerce. The Jobs PLUS event, “Starting Conversations with People You Don’t Know,” will provide students with the opportunity to practice interacting with professionals in a networking setting.

The event is being split into two parts to accommodate class schedules. Part One, a workshop on the topic, will be from 2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. at the Holmes Student Center Regency Room. Part Two will be from 2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. and students will be bussed to Sycamore High School where they will walk through the Community Expo during the business-to-business portion of the event to talk with members of the local DeKalb and Sycamore business communities.

The workshop features NIU Alumnus Rich Escalante and Judy Santacaterina, director of the Bachelor of General Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS). Escalante and Santacaterina are
recipients of the CLAS’ Distinguished Alumni Awards.

 “The expertise and energy of the presenters and the collaboration with Jobs PLUS on this event provides students with another opportunity to enhance their career preparation skills,” said Jack King, director of Student Professional Development for CLAS.  

“NIU students are routinely in situations where they interact with people they don’t know in class, at work and elsewhere. We hope the tips they will get at the event with Rich and Judy will be of great value,” said Chad Glover, director of Jobs PLUS. “The chance to also practice at the Community Expo where they can simultaneously learn about businesses and organizations in DeKalb and Sycamore is something we are really excited about.”

The idea for the partnership between Jobs PLUS and the Community Expo first came during a brainstorming meeting between Glover and Matt Duffy, executive director of the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce. Duffy then discussed the possibility with Rose Treml, executive director of the Sycamore Chamber of Commerce, and the two extended the invitation to participate in the Expo.

“The ability to connect with people is something that takes practice and a genuine interest in what others have to say,” said Duffy. “These skills are extremely valuable in the workforce and will help a person stand out at an interview, sales meeting or networking at an event.”

Students can register for Part One, Part Two, or both. Online registration is required for Jobs PLUS events and students are encouraged to sign up early. The event is free and open to all NIU students. Some students whose employer is participating in Jobs PLUS may be eligible to attend the event on their paid work time with permission of their employer. Dress for the event is casual.

Jobs PLUS events also qualify for Passport in the College of Business, Honors Engaged in University Honors and are being promoted through the CLAS professional development course.