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DU Career Center offers free career and networking event for seniors

As Commencement looms, some DU seniors may be scratching their heads while nervously asking themselves, “Now, what?”

DU’s Career Center will help answer that question at an event for seniors at 4 p.m. on May 11 in the Driscoll Gallery.

“Graduating, Now What? Employers and Alumni Tell All” will offer tips and advice on how students can network, navigate their job search and succeed in their first jobs after college.

The event includes speaker panels, free dinner and speed networking with DU alumni, career center staff and local employers.

The first panel is called “Making a First Impression.” The panel will feature image consultant Lakeysha Green and communication specialist Mary Mayotte. The panel also features Tessa Henelsmith (BS ’10), who will talk about the importance of honing an “elevator pitch” — a one- or two-minute synopsis of the job seekers’ qualifications and desire for a position that could be delivered on an elevator ride with a top executive. Henelsmith has a bit of expertise in the technique as she got her first job by networking with an executive while riding in an elevator.

At the second panel, “Employers Tell All,” several employers will discuss tips on navigating the recruiting and HR process, including how to stand out in a crowd, and effective interview and salary negotiation tactics.

“The idea is to give seniors a chance to connect with employers and alumni and to get a better sense of the job search process whether they’ve started or they’re in the middle of it,” says Mary Michael Hawkins, director of the DU Career Center. “We hope to get students motivated or get them out of a rut and to realize the importance of networking.”

The Career Center is piloting “Graduating, Now What?” this year and hopes to grow the event in the future.

Other schools hold similar events that provide information applicable to graduates beyond their job search, including 401(k) programs, health care plans and buying a house or car, Hawkins says.

The event is free but limited to 50 seniors. Register online at DU Careers Online.

For more information, visit the Career Center’s website or the event’s Facebook page.

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