University of Rhode Island Professional Development Week a success among students, alumni, faculty

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KINGSTON, R.I.-December 7, 2016- Several hundred students and alumni participated in the University of Rhode Island’s first Professional Development Week this November, during which they learned how to deliver an engaging 30-second elevator pitch, land an internship or fellowship, and balance work and personal life, among many other topics.

The event was organized by Kim Stack, director of the Center for Career and Experiential Learning.

During the workshops, students had the opportunity to learn from alumni working in their desired fields. They benefited from numerous networking opportunities.

“The feedback from students was great,” said Shilah Belle, coordinator of the program for URI’s University College for Academic Success. “Students often thanked the program presenters and stayed after the sessions to ask questions and discuss various topics related to the presentation.”

One of the primary goals of the program was to help students start planning for their careers as soon as possible.

“We wanted students to understand that it is never too early to plan for life after college,” Belle said. “From freshman to graduate students, participants were actively engaged not only with each other, but with the presenters as well. Presenters engaged the students and urged them to take a hands-on approach, allowing them to practice conversation and interaction right in the classroom. Students from every major were patient, attentive, and ready to learn.”

Following each session, attendees were invited to fill out a survey and were given the opportunity to provide feedback and offer suggestions regarding potential programs they would like to see next year. Many students expressed in their comments that they were grateful to have such an experience and are looking forward to the next Professional Development Week.

Olivia Ross, an intern in the Marketing and Communications Department at URI and public relations major, wrote this press release.