Penn State Lehigh Valley held its first Business and Information Sciences and Technology (IST) Careers Day on March 20 at the Lehigh Valley campus. The theme of the program was “Discover and Explore: Business, Information Sciences and Technology Careers.” The program was open to all students, faculty, and staff, and included students from Emmaus High School.
Kermit Burley, lecturer and program coordinator of information services and technology at Penn State Lehigh Valley, along with Denise Ogden, professor, marketing, arranged for business and IST professionals from various organizations to provide insight on their careers. Participants had the opportunity to attend several concurrent workshops on Exploring Business Careers, Exploring IST with 3D Printing, and Emerging Technologies. During lunch a speed networking session was held with students and professionals from organizations such as Erie Insurance, Martino Marketing Group, Inc., Lehigh Valley Health Network, Express Business Center, St. Luke’s Hospital, Air Products and the VR Café, to name a few. Attendees also had the opportunity to have their resumes reviewed by the Penn State Lehigh Valley Career Services team.
“This program was designed to spark an interest in the field of business and information services and technology, and also explore careers in the industry,” said Burley. “I believe college is where students discover what their interests are, then learn and explore the multiple opportunities that await them.”
The sessions featured professionals which included:
Catherine Bodock, sales representative of Cumulus Allentown, WLEV 100.7, and WCTO Cat Country; Christopher Crocker, northeast district sales manager of Sherwin Williams; Ashish Patel, market human resource manager of Walmart; Tammy Albenzi, marketing analyst, UGI Utilities Eli Cekovic, supply chain director (UGI), and Megan Mattern, controller and principal accounting officer (UGI). These professionals held sessions that delved deeper into the career opportunities available in business for students. The speakers also reflected on their field of study in college and emphasized the importance of transferrable skills that promote brand identity.
Mark L. Simmons, solutions architect and technical lead from Air Products, demonstrated and explained the Internet of Things (IoT), a network of physical devices that work simultaneously to gather data and analyze it to perform a specific action.
Kate Morgan, director of virtual education at Penn State Lehigh Valley, informed students about the usage of 3D printing. Students designed their own keychains using a 3D graphic design application, then observed how the 3D printing device constructed them. Morgan also held a virtual reality session with Josh Pados, owner of VR Café, for attendees to witness an artificial world created using 3D virtual technology.
Brandon Haring, a third-year Emmaus High School student attended Business and Information Sciences and Technology Career Day at the request of his academic adviser. “I wanted to explore my options as to what field of study I should choose,” said Haring. “Though I’m still undecided as to what I want to study, I feel more confident knowing that there are multiple opportunities within the field of information services and technology.”
Business and Information Sciences and Technology Career Day was planned by a committee led by Kermit Burley, lecturer and program coordinator of information services and technology, and Denise Odgen, professor of marketing at Penn State Lehigh Valley. The program was sponsored by the Penn State Lehigh Valley Business Society, the Geek Squad Club and Lehigh Valley LaunchBox.