Biz-Connect: Online networking opportunity for business students


File Photo/The Lion's Roar

A student connects with an employer at the 2019 Biz-Connect career fair. 2021 Virtual Biz-Connect offers networking and career search opportunities for business students. The event will take place over Zoom through student-scheduled sessions with professionals on Thursday, March 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Networking is one of the most important aspects of college, and business majors have the opportunity to do just that on Thursday, March 11 from 9 a.m – 3 p.m with Virtual Biz-Connect. 

Biz-Connect is a specialized career fair catered toward business majors with some allowance for communication and graphic design students, according to the manager of student employment and internship development Craig Marinello. 

The event normally takes place throughout Garrett Hall, but this year it is formatted to an online platform due to COVID-19 restrictions. Marinello explained how else Biz-Connect will be different from previous years.

He said, “Number one: we go out there, and we solicit the businesses. They then go on the Handshake platform, and they set up their schedules. The schedules are made up of 30-minute group sessions, where we can have up to 50 students in and 10 minute one-to-one sessions where the student can spend 10 minutes with the person back and forth.”

All students who attend must have an account with Handshake. To register, download the application or go to the website and log in with the university email address and password. 

After registering, students will see all the employers attending as well as the jobs they offer.  When students find the business they are looking for, they can set up an appointment.

Marinello encouraged students to do two things a few days before the fair: make sure their resume is visible and make the rest of their information public. The setting “community” is recommended. 

By doing so, the companies will be able to see who the student is and their GPA if the student wishes to make the GPA visible. Students have the option to view the page from the company’s standpoint as well. Students have full control over what the company can or cannot see. 

Marinello recommended that students use Chrome as their search engine because it is most compatible with Handshake. The day of the fair, students should ensure that their devices are charged and that they have done research on the companies. In the 10-minute sessions, get the recruiter’s contact information for any followup processes at least two minutes before the session ends. 

On the day of the fair, Career Services will have a Zoom link open for anyone who gets confused in the process. 

Graduate business major Tyson Mclemore described his experiences with Biz-Connect in previous years. 

“You can basically network with many employers and give them your resume to potentially land an internship or job with the company or to gain experience. It’s awesome,” Mclemore said.

Freshman business major Luke Buras has never attended Biz-Connect, but he said he is excited to learn more. However, he said he believes making the event online takes away the experience.

Buras said, “I personally think going online takes away from actually experiencing and submerging yourself in the environment. Online is great for a lot of reasons, but as far as looking for new opportunities like what Biz-Connect offers, I think it’s necessary to be able to communicate in person with people as much as possible.”

Buras said he wants Biz-Connect to be in person, but he understands the reasoning for going online this year.

“I think I would learn most from being in person. It still may be very informal online, and I’m glad to see how it goes, but I do hope we go back to in person next time,” he said.

Through the Career Services website, students can register for the event, view the list of employers and find other resources to guide them through the Biz-Connect experience.