WCBA Connects Employers with Students

By Laura McDonough

The Williamson College of Business Administration is hosting its semi-annual Meet the Employers Day at Youngstown State University on Sept. 23.

The free event will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. in the atrium of Williamson Hall.

Christina Costello, assistant coordinator of the professional practice program at WCBA, said the event is designed as a networking opportunity.

“It’s a great way to help the students start networking with employers and getting to know the different opportunities that are out there,” Costello said.

She said it is not only an opportunity for students, but also for employers as well.

“It’s an opportunity for employers to introduce students to their company, discuss internship opportunities, maybe how they got to where they were,” Costello said.

Raymond Shaffer, chair of the Lariccia School of Accounting and Finance, said this is just one event of many that students need to attend to be successful.

“Each one is part of a larger puzzle,” Shaffer said.

The business college frequently hosts events such as Meet the Employers Day and Internship Interview Day. Costello said when the events are attended regularly they can help students transition from college life to the workforce.

“All of the events that we do host are to help our students grow professionally, develop their professional network and start thinking of going from backpack to briefcase upon graduation,” Costello said.

While preparing students to enter the workforce after graduation, WCBA allows employers to meet future potential employees as well.

“They [the employers] have the opportunity to not only network with students, but YSU faculty and staff and also other business professionals in the area, and maybe identify potential candidates for positions down the road,” Costello said.

Although the event may not directly lead to a job, she said it builds experience for future interactions with businesses.

“Meet the Employers Day is just for networking opportunities, but employers do collect resumes for our Internship Interview Day,” Costello said. “Those employers do hire interns for their businesses the following semester, or two semesters out.”

Shaffer said the main goal of an internship is for students to gain experience and learn about their major field in a way that no book or classroom setting could give them.

“The classroom is good, but there is nothing better than the real thing,” Shaffer said.

He said showing potential employers work ethic during an internship is equally as important as gaining experience.

“I can compare it to test driving a new car,” Shaffer said.

He said when buying a new car, it is important to test drive it before buying to make sure it runs the way it is expected to. It’s the same with interns.

“Sometimes that internship will lead to a job offer, and even if they don’t stay, they can say they have the experience,” Shaffer said.

The WCBA continues to host events for students to gain networking experience because the ability to get an internship directly affects their ability to get a job later down the road.

“The Nace Job Outlook Survey, dated this year, the 2015 survey, I believe it says 72.5 percent of employers want soon to be college graduates with career related experience,” Costello said.

Because internships are so important, she said the WCBA does all it can to make sure its students are career ready upon graduation and have every opportunity to become successful.

“Upon graduation they are professionals and they are able to go through with finding a job and knowing what they need to do,” Costello said.

Betty Jo Licata, dean of WCBA, said she encourages students to get as much professional experience as they can before graduation.

“Learn more about what knowledge, skills and experience employers want from business students,” Licata said.

Shaffer said the opportunities for students set YSU apart.

“I strongly believe YSU has a lot more events to help students succeed than other schools, and that is partly because of Dean Licata who really pushes for them,” Shaffer said.

Licata said events like Meet the Employers Day are essential.

“It’s really, really important that our students have as much contact with employers as possible,” Licata said. “Because our goal for our students, and the goal most of our students have, is to not only have an internship while they’re in college but also to have that full-time professional job in hand upon graduation.”

There will be approximately 40 businesses attending the event, including Chick-fil-A, Family Video, IRS-Criminal Investigation, JMC Steel Group, Macy’s, PNC Bank, Schwebel’s and the Youngstown Phantoms.