Students get professional at Career Intensive Boot Camp

Anna Jaskiewicz Op, Ed Editor

Bloomsburg University’s eight-annual Career Intensive Boot Camp (CIBC) enhanced the professional development of 45 Bloomsburg University students across the three-day event.

Hosted by the Office of Alumni and Professional Development, the event ran from Friday, March 1 from 3:00 p.m to 6:00 p.m., Saturday March 2 from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 3 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The main coordinator of the event, Lauren Polinski of the Professional Development office, says that “the Career Intensive Boot Camp is an opportunity for students to build connections, sharpen their professional skills, and be more prepared for what is next after BU.”

Additionally, she says, “it is amazing to see the transformation students go through from Friday to Sunday. Students are more prepared, better connected to our alumni, and confident in themselves and their future after completing the program.”

In addition to 45 student participants, 45 Bloomsburg University alumni volunteers were involved this year, providing a total of 25 professional development activities throughout the entirety of the weekend.

Friday afternoon activities included time for student participants to become acquainted with one another through personal branding and team communication activities. Dinner was served followed by the “Young Alumni Panel.”

Each panelist was a recent graduate from Bloomsburg University who succeeded in gaining professional careers post-graduation, and the panelists gave the student participants an idea of what it was like making the transition from student to professional within the current job market.

Saturday kicked off with optional professional headshots that the participating students can use for their LinkedIn accounts. Later, the participants split off into smaller groups to attend one of four proposed discussion panels.

One panel, “Gap Year Experiences: Taking a Year ‘ON’” focused on the experiences of alumni who took gap years before finding a successful career.
After lunch, participants split up into smaller groups again and rotated between “quick chats” that focused on different aspects of the professional world.

The “Building Office Relations” quick chat focused on different things that can be done, after being hired, that helps one build relationships with co-workers and supervisors. Another quick chat was a resume, cover letter, and personal brand one-on-one review with volunteer BU alumni to help make job applications more conducive to the professional world.

The last event on Saturday was an etiquette dinner where participants were instructed by a representative of Aramack how to eat at a fine dining establishment, as many job interviews or networking sessions are done over meals.

Sunday started with a panel discussion titled “Debunking the Career Path Myth.” Next, the students went to one of four sessions that touched on different aspects of the professional world according to what each student participant cared more to know.

Sunday held a networking lunch with professionals which gave participants time to get in contact with more BU alumni and to make professional connections, followed by mock interviews in various styles such as group, one-on-one, speed and virtual.