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Feb. 16, 2017

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PITTSBURGH — Pitt student-athletes had the chance to hone their professional communication skills and connect with industry professionals at the annual Career Networking Night on Monday February 6. Hosted by the Cathy and John Pelusi Family Life Skills Program at the Petersen Events Center, the program featured speed networking and open industry networking sessions to help student-athletes in both skill development and network growth.

“This evening was a great opportunity for our student-athletes to apply what they learned in our Professional Etiquette Training Series and apply it to their own career aspirations,” said Jackson Martin, Career Consultant for Student-Athletes. “They had a chance to connect with professionals in a wide range of industries, and I was incredibly proud of what they were able to accomplish through the event.”

Over 100 networkers represented 70-plus organizations at the event, which featured a bevy of industries. This year, 13 Fortune 500® firms were represented at the Petersen Events Center, as were five of the top 25 employers in the state of Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. The breadth of available networkers provided student-athletes with unique opportunities outside of their areas of study.

“During the speed networking session it was really unique to talk to folks who are outside of the business realm,” said redshirt junior football student-athlete Ryan Winslow. “Even though their professional experiences were not directly connected to what I want to do in my career, they gave me some great insights on how my skills can be of great use in a range of industries.”

The breadth of opportunities was something that was incredibly important to the staff of the Cathy and John Pelusi Family Life Skills Program. “We were thrilled with both the number of networkers that were able to join us, the diversity of the industries represented, and the number of Pitt alumni who chose to attend,” said Lisa Auld, Director of Life Skills. “Our goal each year is to provide our student-athletes with as many opportunities to connect with professionals as we can, and this year was no exception. It is a testament to how our student-athletes prepare and engage with professionals that this event has become so well regarded and well attended in the region.”

The event finished with an open networking session for student-athletes and professionals, and was a chance for more directed, and longer, conversations. “I was able to connect with some of the folks that I talked to during the five-minute speed networking sessions and get even more information from them, which was really great,” said junior track and field student-athlete and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee member Andin Fosam. “Those conversations were really rewarding, in that we did not just talk about what they were doing in the field, but what our visions were for our careers, and how to position ourselves for the future.”

Initiated in 1995 as one of the pilot programs of the NCAA’s Student-Athlete Affairs Life Skills Program, the Cathy and John Pelusi Family Life Skills Program is committed to providing student-athletes an opportunity to prepare for success academically, athletically, and in their personal growth and development. To keep up with the program, follow @Pitt_LIFESKILLS on Twitter and Instagram.


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