The Walker College of Business celebrated the fifth anniversary of Business Connections, a signature event held at Appalachian State University, on September 27.
More than 1,200 Appalachian business students participated in the event, which helps prepare undergraduates for the realities of the business world by connecting them with faculty and industry experts.
"We aim to bring business leaders to campus as often as possible," said Business Career Services Assistant Director Amy Odom. "Our faculty members do a phenomenal job of preparing our students academically, and Business Connections helps make the link between what they learn in the classroom and how they will apply that knowledge in the business world."
The day consisted of practice interview sessions, track-specific workshops around current industry trends, and a career fair where representatives from 60 recruiting companies had the opportunity to meet students interested in internship or job opportunities.
According to Odom, many of the recruiters who attend Business Connections are Appalachian alumni, and some of them secured their positions during a previous Business Connections event.
"The Walker College of Business network is strong," said Walker College Dean Heather Norris. "Events like Business Connections provide the foundation for long-lasting relationships that help connect our students to their post-graduate goals and create a platform to bring new talent to industry, talent that makes a positive difference in our communities and in our world."
In the last academic year, 90% of Walker College of Business graduates reached their first destination upon graduation. Odom attributes much of that success is to events like Business Connections, the Boyles Lecture Series and the Carole McLeod Entrepreneur Summit.
Related: Ninety percent of Walker College graduates employed or continuing education six months after commencement
"The opportunity to network and interact with community and industry partners on campus gives our students an advantage," said Odom.
Companies represented at the fifth annual event included Lenovo, Delhaize, The Vanguard Group, Save-A-Lot, Red Classic, Bank of America, E&J Gallo Winery, Visit North Carolina and Transportation Insight, Target and Lowe’s Companies, among others.
Panel tracks included professional and career skills, leadership development and current industry issues and trends in accounting, economics, computer information systems, finance and banking, international business, hospitality and tourism, management, marketing, risk management and insurance and supply chain management.
Formal internship and employment interviews were scheduled as follow-up from the day's activities.