Undergraduate student Madeline Dixon, class of 2019, marketing and psychology major, writes about the Bridging the Skills Gap Panel, held on August 28, 2018, at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business.
Curious. Engaging. Excited. Three words on the Smith School’s newest batch of students from Baker Tilly’s Jen Flickinger! At any given session of Bridging the Skills Gap, the second Smith Start event of the season, hundreds of chatty students shuffle into Frank Auditorium. Different personalities, styles, and majors, all here to learn; imagining bright futures. For some, this is their first ever Smith event as well as their first day of college. But they’re eager. At the first session, PwC’s Anthony Jablonski confides that this is his favorite recruiting event. He loves to see young students involved.
When Ashlee Chicoine, director of undergraduate career programming, opens the floor to questions, ten or more hands fly up, front and center. In addition to thoughtful prompts from Chicoine, our panelists answer down to earth questions like "How do you get an internship?" and "How many ties do I need to buy?" Serious knowledge is imparted. Samathan Bement of RSM offers an insightful directive, "Be open to learning." And soon, everyone’s shuffling into Van Munching’s elegant, echoing hallways. Here, professionals share more invaluable tidbits. "Dig deep into your experiences; there’s always something resume worthy," points out Tom Sneeringer of RSM.
In the third and last session, four new panelists arrive — Dan Hennigan of Pepsico, Liz Didonato of Baker Tilly, Ally Yawman of EY, and Srijan Shrestha from Target. These young professionals offer a more immediate perspective. "Get involved in clubs. Do an externship. Go to office hours," advises Hennigan simply.
What does it all add up to? Your journey begins today. Are you excited?
Learn more about the Smith School's undergraduate program.