From May 30 to June 1, five students in the Seton Hill communication program attended the Integrate conference at West Virginia University including myself, Caitlin Srager, online editor of the Setonian. Panel topics at the conference ranged from influencer marketing to the effect of artificial intelligence on brands.
“The purpose of the conference was to expose us to professionals in our field, so we can learn to use our creativity and their advice to succeed in our field,” said Kayleigh Ventrone, a sophomore at SHU.
According to Ventrone, she got the most advice from the alumni panel. The panel focused on providing tips and advice to several undergraduates.
“I learned that passion is the most important thing that we can have in our field. The best way to succeed and find things to boost our resume is to peruse our passions,” Ventrone said.“I also learned that even as an undergrad it’s important to expose myself to professionals who can give me more insight on how to further prepare for a job in the field of communication”
Madison Harry, also a sophomore at SHU, said that conferences such as Integrate are a good opportunity to network with professionals.
“Others should attend conferences because it provides a great opportunity to learn from those who have had experience in your particular interest. It also provides an atmosphere where everyone has the same goal of learning,” Harry said. “There is always something that can be taken and learned from a conference! It brings individuals together to discuss ideas, and there is an added bonus of fun.”
Harry also said that she would advise others to gain advice and ask questions while at conferences. This advice was echoed and added to by Sadye Eisenhauer, a fellow sophomore who attended the WVU conference.
Eisenhauer has also assisted in planning and hosting a conference at SHU. The Pennsylvania Communication Association conference that Eisenhauer helped organized was held at SHU during the fall 2018 semester.
“For students going to a conference, I would suggest doing research. Not necessarily on the specific panels, but on the people speaking and their area of expertise,” Eisenhauer said. “If you are able to, come prepared with questions prior to the panel, write down answers as they get brought up during the speakers time. If you still have questions after the panel is over, be sure to ask so you do not leave questioning the knowledge you received.”
Researching before hand can also determine if a conference is right for you or not, Eisenhauer said.
“When it comes to choosing the right conference for you, I would always make sure the panels align with your career path. If not, allow them to align with your interests or aspirations for the future,” Eisenhauer said. “You will only make the best of your experience if you are engaged in the present conference.”
For more information on the Integrate conference at WVU, individuals can visit https://integrate.wvu.edu/. SHU students can also learn more about networking and conferences by visiting the Career and Professional Development Center or their website.
Published By: Caitlin Srager