How to get the most out of Pro Events

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Etiquette Lunch

One of the best things about being a business student at UWSP is the Smiley Professional Events, better known as Pro Events. These events can range anywhere from practicing your manners at an etiquette dinner, to chatting with UWSP’s various Corporate Partners, and even internship expos. With more than 300 events throughout the year, it can be challenging to decipher what may be the most beneficial for your future. I’d love to tell you to attend every event, but we know that’s unrealistic. Instead, I’ll teach you how to get the most out of the events you are able to attend and further your academic and professional career by doing so.

Be Selective

Lunch With A Leader Banquet

With over 300 events every year, the Smiley Pro Events schedule can be a bit daunting. Set aside time towards the beginning of the semester to look at what Pro Events you may be interested in or feel may benefit you, then take it one step further and save the date on your calendar. Not only will this prevent you from frantically going to just any events to fulfill your course requirements, but it will also assist you with time management, and help boost your participation within each event you attend.

Engage at the Event

While simply attending the event will gain you course credit, it will not suffice if you truly desire to improve yourself from these events. Engaging with both the event and the people attending will provide you with greater UWSP and professional networks, as well as put your business skills to work. This tip is especially important for events where corporate partners are present, or for information-heavy events such as the Internship Expo.

Follow Up

Internship Expo

Now that you’ve taken the time to engage at the event, it doesn’t just stop there. Reach out to those business professionals you met at the event and ask follow-up questions or even just thank them for speaking with you. Taking the time to follow up shows that you are grateful to have them as a resource and you’d like to stay in contact. If you’re struggling to figure out how to stay in contact after your networking, I would highly suggest utilizing LinkedIn to connect during your initial meeting.

Plan Ahead

If you followed the first tip, this one should be easy. Ensure you’re coming to the event prepared, whether that means designing speaking points, grabbing a few extra business cards, or printing out your resume. Putting in this extra step of effort will set you apart from the crowd, and show professionals that you mean business.

Ultimately, it’s up to you how much you gain and learn from the Smiley Pro Events. Using these tips will certainly help you, but it’s important to find what works for you at your comfort level and work your way from there.

Ariana Mueller is a business administration student in the Sentry School of Business and Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Originally from Wausau, Wis., Ariana serves as a peer adviser in the Anderson Classroom to Career Center.